Los Angeles

Dean Spille

Ryder Gallery

We find ourselves in a free-floating world of pro­tected, windowed interiors and enclosed gardens rigidly stabilized by the repe­tition of a formula. With the deadening regularity of an equal-spaced grid, the exact square format is divided into peachy portions: one-third architectur­al framework, one-third neutral surface, and the remainder, contrived passages of comma-like floral abundance used as jazzy filler. Depersonalized refugees from Bay Area painting are slipped quietly into a corner of this sweet pastel never-never land of two-dimensional design.

The works are pleasant––in an irritating way. One wonders if Spille’s twelve years in the animated film indus­try has any bearing on the feeling that these paintings come from diverted tal­ent rather than inner necessity. They possess a flat, commercially reproduced quality as if “suitable for framing.” No doubt, at some past point, the artist supposed the challenge of meaningful content and serious compositional con­cerns to have been met and solved, and so was satisfied to rest on his decora­tive laurels. That was a fatal mistake.

Fidel A. Danieli