los-angeles

Suzanne Caporael

Krygier/Landau Contemporary Art

The look of these large oil paintings might be described in terms of dueling influences—19th-century landscape painting invaded by intermittent attempts at de Chiricoesque surrealism. Suzanne Caporael was at her best in this exhibition when she let the landscape painter in her have the upper hand, producing murky unpopulated seas and skies—emblems of turmoil—and allowing the works’ evocative treatment of nature to be the main thrust, rather than simply using it as background for some self-consciously enigmatic tableau. An example of this latter tendency included Artaud and Dr. Dardel, 1988, a picture of two figures playing patty-cake on an awkwardly realized “set” of landscape and drapery. One figure looks human and appears in a sort of Holstein-cowpatterned black and white bodysuit. The other, a stick figure with a diamond-shaped head and big eye holes, has numerals scratched along his

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