Los Angeles

John Altoon

Ferus Gallery

Large oils that have origins in the artist’s re­cent drawings, deal with fanciful erotica and are executed with appropriate casu­alness. Loose clots of thick paint follow the paths of drawing, not imbedded into paint but left dry and vulnerable on the pristine white canvas. The result is an anti-painterly occupation of surfaces, a sense of things forced on a surface, rather than worked into it. This possibly adds bite to the perverse humor of his statement, but by becoming gigantic and embellished versions of the draw­ings, the paintings lose the intimate contact with the viewer and become more like coarse jokes. The drawings are inventive as always, their scale al­lows them to speak slyly rather than to shout, and whatever Altoon happens to want to say, they say better.

Douglas McClellan