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Art review: Ernesto Caivano at Richard Heller Gallery

April 9, 2010 |  5:45 pm
400.Ernesto_Caivano_Not_For_Feathers_1627_97 Ernesto Caivano draws with a light touch. But there's nothing lightweight about his intimate works on paper at Richard Heller Gallery. Combining the crisp precision of architectural diagrams with the gentle whimsy of romantic daydreams, each of the New York-based, Madrid-born artist's 27 drawings and five collages gives viewers a glimpse into a world mellowed by melancholy yet suffused with a fondness for the textures and rhythms that give life's little pleasures their resonance.

Caivano is no one-trick pony. Nor is he unduly concerned with coherence, with working in a signature style that ensures  nervous viewers he is focused and serious.

His drawings in "Relics Where ... " drift freely in subject, style and genre, deriving as much charge from what they leave out as what they include. Imaginary landscapes intermingle with exquisite still lifes. Birds, hands and tree stumps appear frequently. Mysterious packages wrapped in boldly patterned fabrics turn up, as does the silhouette of a Brancusi sculpture.

400.Ernesto_Caivano_Suspension_of_Elements_A_Kind_of_Reassemnly_2009_1645_97The clarity of instruction manuals echoes in many of Caivano's poetic evocations of indescribable moments. Neither giving too much away nor holding anything back, his rich little drawings strike just the right note.

– David Pagel

Richard Heller Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave., Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, (310) 453-9191, through April 24. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Images: "Not for Feathers" (top) and "Suspension of Elements (A Kind of Reassembly)," 2009. Credits: Courtesy of the artist and Richard Heller Gallery.