Los Angeles

Phillippe Hosiasson

David Stuart Gallery

The catalog preface by Pierre Schneider defines the works as “Geometry reformulated by nature,” and it is a telling description of the immensely sad canvases by this Russian-born, Paris-based painter. As his theme, he uses forms evocative of old stucco walls with door or window openings. The technical approach is that of a construction-in-paint. The paint is heavily applied and manipulated on the canvas in layers; when the textural forms are built they are enriched with glazes and sprinklings of dry color. This elaboration endows the surfaces with a material density and in some of the paintings, such as Stele, an uncanny visual effect seems to raise certain of the colors off the physical surface. The emotional message of the show seems to deal with a stoic acceptance of the attrition of time. Emotion has been spent and what remains is not so much forms as an elaborate record of what has happened to form. If it is geometry it is a romantic’s geometry, dealing not with the order of the life process but with its persistence. Although Hosiasson does not deal with the humanity-soaked poetry of Giacometti, he seems to share the same concerns.

Doug McClellan