Los Angeles

Daniel Douke

Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art

Much more mysterious than McCafferty’s solar-burn collages are Daniel Douke’s trompe l’oeil paintings of cardboard boxes. Only a telltale seam here, a suspiciously reflective patch there, ultimately reveal that the cardboard boxes protruding from the wall are in fact three-dimensional paintings. That revelation is slow in coming, however, so beautifully rendered is the deceit.

In his fusion of painting, sculpture and photography, Douke is engaged in pursuits shared by a number of artists working today: Sylvia Mangold’s masking-tape paintings, Jud Nelson’s marble “Wonder Bread” sculptures, Michael McMillen’s miniaturized environments, and others. Their shared obsession with the meticulous description of objects seems, in some respects, an attempt to grab hold of the concrete, if only for a moment, before it slips back into incomprehensibility.

In the early ’70s, Douke made airbrushed paintings

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 1980 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.