Critics’ Picks

. . . from blindness and snow, soft slope in two pinks, 2004.

. . . from blindness and snow, soft slope in two pinks, 2004.

Los Angeles

Monique van Genderen

The Happy Lion
963 Chung King Road
July 25, 2013–February 14, 2004

It was only a matter of time before Monique van Genderen used paint to make a painting. Her previous works—seductive, layered designs of translucent colored vinyl—flirted with LA’s tradition of hard-edge abstraction in a game of deferral that conflated materiality and style. Now the artist has taken to the brush, counterpoising loose gestures in oil and enamel against crisp vinyl shapes and lines. The venture feels risky and rewarding: In Winter Space Paintings #8, 2003, a thickly painted brown and yellow circle hints at the abject, lending the work unexpected toughness while balancing the pretty orange and pink forms around it. Six smaller Winter Space Paintings (all 2004) aim for delicacy. In #5, blue and silver vinyl wisps float over two thick smudges of creamy enamel that barely register against a white ground. In the show’s centerpiece, . . . from blindness and snow, soft slope in two pinks, 2004, van Genderen varies thickness and opacity enough to cause material misapprehension (paint or vinyl?), earning the work’s seductiveness through painterly investigations.