Los Angeles

Sven Lukin

Dwan Gallery

Though basic tenets remain constant, this young artist seems to be in the process of change. Within the general attitude of a geometric orientation, Lukin works toward the realization of each canvas as a bas-relief entity. “Thingness” is accomplished by stretching unprimed canvas over a dimension-producing bar in taut folds and wrapping his color planes around the picture’s edges. The one or two shapes of the earlier banner-like formats recall broad, partial sec­tions of letter forms, verging symmetric­ally and clamping tightly toward this raised pole plane.

Having achieved an ultimate, novel, and directly simple statement of aristo­cratic handsomeness, we find him more recently complicating the numbers of shapes, hues, directions, alignments, tangencies, overlappings and methods of breaking with the two-dimensional plane and traditional square edge of the format. The repertoire of shapes has expanded to include arrows, arcs of fleshy hearts, triangles, serifs, and with the use of the diagonal, optically illusionistic, isometric perspective. One realizes with a bit of dismay that the color, so richly exotic or off-beat in the preparatory drawings, has become the color wheel choices of Stella but interpreted as value on a ratio of warm equals light and cool equals dark.

Having embarked on a more relaxed multiplication of possibilities, resembl­ing the childhood intrigue of puzzle making with crayons and graph paper, his paintings now suggest occult eye charts, cabalistic game boards, and wizard walls of magic signs, flavored with the dated familiarity of Pop Art. It would be difficult (and finally even unnecessary) to pass judgment upon the recent proIiteration of elements, for there is no doubt that Lukin will re­solve his investigations into an impor­tant and final conclusion of purity.

Fidel A. Danieli