Los Angeles

Tom Wudl

L.A. Louver

Tom Wudl’s tour of earthly delights takes two forms. Tiny paintings (as small as four by three inches) of isolated objects—a goblet, a yellow fish, a bird, a hand holding a bullet paradoxicallyfeel as expansive as the gigantic The Rapture of Dionysus (all works 1991), a painting that features an explosion of information—a burst of flora, a clock, a deck shoe, a violin, and the Challenger spaceship exploding in a galaxy studded with stars and planets. Small paintings have a tendency to be awkwardly constricted, but Wudl’s diminutive works do not fall prey to rigidity and stiffness; they are loose, loopy, and have a remarkable fullness. The intimate paintings pull you into a tête-à-tête with one particular element. Indeed, each piece seems to encapsulate the world in a single image.

Some of Wudl’s titles are obnoxious and run the risk of trivializing his efforts. Antique Bowls and

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