Art review: Ali Smith, 'Flip Side' at Mark Moore Gallery
Digital technology may not have killed off collage, but software like Photoshop has made the art of cut-and-pasted paper look very last century. At Mark Moore Gallery, Ali Smith’s new paintings gaze back at collage with fondness and purpose.
With their rough edges, fractured compositions and unpredictable scale-shifts, the L.A. artist paints energetic pictures whose wild swipes and slashes are not expressive — in any way, shape or form. Rather than standing in as authentic emblems of inner turmoil or heartfelt emotions, the whiplash gestures in Smith’s paintings take on lives of their own.
Each of Smith’s oils on canvas is an exuberant ruin, a cartoon train-wreck of a composition that combines the unselfconsciousness of doodles with the deliberate kick of carefully wrought images.
The logic of collage serves Smith very well, especially when her fragmented paintings take viewers far beyond the familiar.
-- David Pagel
Mark Moore Gallery, 5790 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 453-3031, through April 7. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.markmooregallery.com.
Image: Ali Smith, "Bend and Stray," 2012. Credit: Mark Moore Gallery.