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Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 | T 310 838 6000


October 17, 2019

Laura Krifka’s Wickedly Deviant "The Game of Patience"

Reviewed by Lita Barrie
Laura Krifka enjoys doing things she is not supposed to do. Having absorbed the tenets of neoclassical painting, she bypasses high-minded seriousness by adding a candy-coated veneer of hyper-artificiality adopted from 1950s MGM musicals to the domestic decor of private scenes she undercuts with a deviant sexual subtext recalling David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.   more

This irresistible mix of dexterity, decor, decorum and deviance makes viewing her paintings a guilty pleasure — rather like sneaking into a peep show or secretly spying on neighbor’s forbidden acts. We can view the conventions of art, cinema and domestic life through a bemused female gaze with no-holds-barred on taking delight in human foibles.

October 02, 2019


Laura Krifka is a superlative, if shifty, storyteller — a cross between a delectably unreliable narrator and a canny ventriloquist. Her intriguing recent oils on canvas and panel at the Los Angeles gallery Luis De Jesus are painted with brushless exactitude, their crisp and controlled surfaces belying personal and interpersonal complexities beneath. Krifka tells it super-straight, but the “it” is slant.

Consider the stealth and skill of “Pink Peep” (2019).   more

The painted panel presents as a wood-framed window, more or less true to scale. A slender, unclothed person stands within, largely veiled by a lace curtain. Everything about the scene signals the conventionally feminine: the mauve and lavender color scheme; the soft, delicate lace; the figure’s smooth skin. All except for the tip of the person’s penis, glimpsed beneath the curtain’s scalloped hem. Gender-coded expectations are challenged by the subtle surprise, and by the fluidity it suggests. Our traditional role, too, is inverted, from viewer looking out of the painting-as-window to voyeur peering in.

Krifka, based in San Luis Obispo, infuses many of the scenes with a sexual charge, tinged with unease. Desire and its expression both feel suppressed, channeled into illicit witness. In “Blue Bowls,” a woman in a tiled room reaches up to adjust a light, while a few steps behind her back, a naked man appears to be pleasuring himself. In “Lions,” a buff young man, wearing nothing but a towel around his waist, sits reading by a window, while another man watches him from outside, one hand tucked down the front of his pants. [ READ MORE ]

September 27, 2019

EXPO Chicago Sets the Scene for 2020

While some visitors observed a shift from an overtly political fair floor in 2018, works were not lacklustre or disconnected.   more

Brightly coloured paintings by Peter Williams at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in the main sector included "We travelled to distant worlds" (2019), a large oil on canvas landscape of a red-sky planet annotated with the names of revolutionary historical figures like Frantz Fanon and Prince, while Mendes Wood DM gave centre stage to a large, floor sculpture of an abstracted Martin Luther King by Paul Nazareth (Dry Cut [from Blacks in the Pool – Martin], 2019). [ READ MORE ]

September 27, 2019

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Announces Fall Events

Artist Talk: Ana Teresa Fernández and Antonia Wright

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, 7 p.m.

Join "Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s - Now" artists Ana Teresa Fern├índez and Antonia Wright for a lively discussion about performance and site-responsive works. [ READ MORE ]

September 25, 2019

Federico Solmi’s surreal, satirical universe comes to The Block Museum collection

Ambitious media installation ‘The Great Farce’ donated in recognition of museum’s upcoming anniversary

Past and present, history and amusement, reality and spectacle are conflated and distorted in Federico Solmi’s monumental media work, “The Great Farce” (2017), recently acquired by Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art.   more

The Block received the multiscreen, limited-edition work as a gift from the artist’s studio in recognition of the museum’s upcoming 40th anniversary and its related initiative “Thinking about History.”

Originally commissioned for the 2017 B3 Biennial of the Moving Image, Frankfurt, Germany, “The Great Farce” is Solmi’s most ambitious work to date in terms of technical complexity, physical scale and scope of content. Featuring a cast of time-traveling world leaders with a feverish madness for power, Solmi’s animation turns a frenzied, fun-house mirror to grandstanding historical figures.

“‘The Great Farce’ presents a sprawling send-up of empire building as an enterprise, and a scathing commentary on contemporary culture where spectacle and celebrity may be distractions from more sinister machinations, and where the speed of things contributes to the blurring of myth and truth,” said Janet Dees, The Block Museum Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, who has a longstanding professional relationship with the artist and his work.  [ READ MORE ]

September 21, 2019


Speaking of pop culture, if you’re excited to see the upcoming “Joker” film (set for release in Oct.), you may want to stop by Frederico Solmi’s work at the gallery of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. The animation and colors present in his five-minute video, “The Drunken Boat,” are eerie and mesmerizing. Notable historic figures are seen partying together, vulgar smiles on their faces. It’s like a nightmare steeped in a rainbow of colors that you can’t stop watching. [ READ MORE ]

September 17, 2019


At Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in Culver City, Laura Krifka’s hyper-realistic figurative paintings build to create an uncanny mood. In each work, figures are placed within an interior domestic space, and subtle sexual cues build as you view the works. The breast of a sleepy figure mimics the egg-patterned wallpaper behind her; lemons in various stages of juicing are laid on a table next to a bare buttox.   more

These more overt sexual themes are soon overtaken by more subtle ominous ones—strange shadows fall over the furniture in each painting, as if someone or something is looming just outside of the picture. Her heavily patterned wallpapers flip between dimensions, at times appearing flat, and others strangely dimensional. Krifka intentionally breaks the rules of perspective, light, and repetition to make you feel unsettled as you view these works, although you may not be able to exactly pinpoint why. [ READ MORE ]

August 30, 2019


There is a moment in the sun-drenched back garden of an unassuming cottage in the quiet LA suburb of Cypress Park when Zackary Drucker's life flutters up to us in metaphor.   more

A butterfly, with spectacular wings of cinnamon, cherry and black mottling, has perched on a nearby flower stem.

Drucker, the 36-year-old transgender artist, activist, actress and producer of the television series Transparent, who The New York Times described as “tall and blonde with eyes as blue as swimming pools”, momentarily loses her train of thought.

I had asked her what she sees when she sits in front of a mirror. “That's such a revealing question, it's wonderful,” she says, smiling. “I don't spend much time in front of the mirror, I think that’s the quick answer,” she says, laughing. “I am not obsessed with make-up, I don't think of myself as vain; I think I'm actually very simple and straightforward and I try to simplify my life as much as possible. I think that pragmatism is something that defines me. [ READ MORE ]

August 20, 2019


Laura Krifka takes on the classical stance of European academic painting in her first solo show with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, smashing ivory tower patrician preciousness with a cheeky wit, advanced technique, and lush elements of both social realism and rococo modernism.   more

The new work represents an evolution from her Flemish Renaissance style toward more modern visual cues and a crisper hand that is less folk-inflected and while not quite surreal, are certainly uncanny.

The paintings in The Game of Patience depict men and women, alone and together, naked and clothed in domestic vignettes that are both mundane and hyper-stylized. From wallpaper to design accents, the crush of shag carpet and the Op Art fantasies of elaborately patterned wall treatments to the eerie warmth cast by ordinary light sources, every detail in these arresting new paintings has a place in the motif. The mundane nature of the action in the compositions — drying off after a shower, changing a bulb in the kitchen — only serves to highlight the artist’s masterful command of her paradigmatic medium. [ READ MORE ]

August 15, 2019


DATEBOOK: “Black, Brown and Beige,” at Self Help Graphics & Art

This group show, organized by artist Nery Gabriel Lemus and curator Jimmy O’Balles, takes its name from a symphony Duke Ellington first performed in 1943 — a work he described as “a parallel to the history of the American Negro.” The show touches on the range of differences among groups bound by a single label — say, African American or Latino. Participating artists include Todd Gray, Mario Ybarra Jr., April Bey, Mark Steven Greenfield, Ken Gonzales-Day, Margaret Garcia and many others. Opens Saturday at 7 p.m. and runs through Sept. 26.   more

1300 E. First St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, [ READ MORE ]