Los Angeles

Ed Carrillo

Ceeje Gallery

Inspired and color-dreamt passages through an imagined nation. The paintings, mostly oil on wood panels, are in some cases joined or assembled from cut-out forms that have been re-inserted into the “home” panel. The paintings all date from 1964–1965 and offer a full view of Carrillo’s recent work and world. There is in these works a very non-tense matter of fact paint touch that eases the viewer, giving the imagery a kind of fluid long play with the senses. This first quality of great charm and authenticity protects them from any immediate dissembling. In Pearly Gates, a vast conjured upper-world is revealed, pinked and greened in a thin sunlight, yet dominated by ascending walled terraces and view-thrus of faint landscape. So too is the large gouache “water works” an elaboration of walls, steps and alcoves. Surrounding the well in the middle ground are the ascending bricked-in patios and terraces with their green growing islands planted with smoking firecrackers. Cabin in the Sky proceeds from stairs to walls to hills to an Altdorfer sky with a lightly floating stone temple and temple atrium. In the Pipe Dream, the view is out from an immense double interior. The red buzz-saw blade sits imbedded in a middle division of the two picture view-thrus, the lower landscape being upside down. A red parrot just outside the top inclosure holds a painter’s lining stick in its beak, one of the many references to the “artist” throughout the show. Often it’s simply his pipe appearing from behind a low wall, or, as in the Pearly Gates, a painting in progress on a tiny signboard. There are references to duplication and reproduction through matching panels which together form symmetric views and which continue this faint circle of references to the magic of picture making. Also running through these works is a pervasive system of “in-closures” and “openings.” Steps, fences, terraces, walls, bricked and lined, sealed, a kind of visual exploration of the architecture of captivity, the view-thru being its interruption as well as its liberation. The color sensibility throughout the exhibition is very true to the vision; in this area where most fantasists falter, Carrillo keeps his step, and takes a few extras to boot.

––Irving S. Petrin