Los Angeles

Richard Sigmund

Koplin Del Rio Gallery

The open road, with its aura of freedom, of the ongoing experience of life, has always been a powerful metaphor in literature and the visual arts. Richard Sigmund’s paintings self-reflexively synthesize (and simultaneously deconstruct) this tradition of road iconography and Action Painting’s gestural gestalt. At first glance, the works appear to be trompe l’oeil scale renditions of street fragments, or linear depictions of anonymous highways receding into the amorphous mists of time. Through tight framing, isolated symbolism, and geometric composition redolent of Kasimir Malevich or El Lissitzky, Sigmund sets up a seemingly successful balance between realism and abstraction, signifier and signified. This equilibrium is an insecure one, however, largely because Sigmund is aware of the arbitrary nature of his metaphors as well as of his process. In 20/65, 1986, for example, he realistically

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