Art review: William Daniels at Marc Foxx Gallery
From the walls of Andy Warhol's 1960s studio to James Welling's early 1980s photographs to Pae White's recent tapestries, crumpled aluminum foil has been as attractive to artists as it is to magpies. Seven small, intense and absorbing new paintings by British artist William Daniels continues the obsession.
For his third solo at Marc Foxx, the little paintings -- only about a foot high -- are given much room to breathe in the main gallery. With apparent faithfulness, Daniels records the splintered reflections of light and color in compressed foil or mylar shapes. But each small fold and wrinkle visually reads as a self-contained micro-painting, drenched with a lusciousness and chromatic splendor usually associated with larger abstractions.
Moving in close, you might be struck by the way an initial appearance of shiny glitter quickly dissolves into dense, opaque matte surfaces. Brush strokes oscillate between description and self-contained materiality. Focus telescopes in and out. Daniels' paintings recall strategies familiar from German painter Gerhard Richter, which is no small precedent; yet they remain distinctively his own.
Marc Foxx Gallery, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., (323) 857-5571, through Nov. 12. Closed Sun. and Mon. www.marcfoxx.com
-- Christopher Knight
Photo: William Daniels, "Untitled," 2011, oil on wood, 15.8 by 12.5 inches; Credit: Marc Foxx Gallery