los-angeles

Carl Ostendarp

Daniel Weinberg Gallery

Carl Ostendarp makes a joke of painting that, like the most biting kinds of humor, works by occupying two positions at once. His 3-D paintings (it’s impossible to suppress a smirk when calling them “reliefs”) dutifully fulfill the obligation of formalist abstraction: they’re frank about their framing edges, keenly aware of the difference between depicted and literal form, and determined to pack as much punch as possible into the diminished space of pictorial illusionism without violating the integrity of the picture plane. Evidence of their maker’s hand is inessential to their effect, as is the requirement that they represent anything more than their own materials and procedures. Although these dryly academic descriptions of Ostendarp’s paintings are accurate and true, they do not capture the physical experience of looking at his art.

Visiting an Ostendarp exhibition produces a range of

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