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Art review: Nathan Hylden at Richard Telles Fine Art

November 3, 2011 |  7:00 pm

Nathan Hylden
“So There’s That,” Nathan Hylden’s third solo show at Richard Telles Fine Art, is a persuasive combination of self-assured and understated. Though clearly quite comfortable taking up space — the two paintings in the main room, installed side by side, stretch nearly the entire length of the gallery — the work has a quiet, meditative demeanor.  

The subject matter is pointedly banal: The large paintings depict a vastly magnified portion of the wall in Hylden’s studio, rendered in a pale, pixelated gray with a mysterious sheen of gold highlights. The only difference between the two canvases is the presence, in one, of a single screw. In the gallery’s annex space — a much smaller storefront around the corner — one finds a cozy arrangement of paintings on aluminum that also depict the wall of Hylden’s studio, rendered in a similarly arid gray through an indeterminable combination of brush strokes and screen printing. The only difference between the panels — and the only visual clue to the works’ actual subject — is the shadow of a ladder that creeps across the wall over the course of the sequence.  

It’s not work that sounds particularly exciting on paper, but is — perhaps for that reason — all the more effective in person, with an absorbing presence that commands the space without raising its voice.

-- Holly Myers

Richard Telles Fine Art, 7380 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 965-5578, through Dec. 3. Closed Sundays and Mondays.