los-angeles

Kevin Appel

Angles Gallery

What is “pictorial” space? Modernist criticism put the question near the top of its agenda but never provided a definitive answer, preferring instead to blur its theoretical parameters in a way that might enable a more integrated solution. As it stands, the term is somewhat paradoxical: On one hand, it refers to something flat, coextensive with painting’s literal surface. On the other, it signifies depth, though not in a traditional perspectival sense. Rather, “depth” here implies a plastic intelligence, and an ability to articulate flatness as such, and thereby to render it open and inhabitable.

This imperative has guided Kevin Appel’s output from the start, though he approaches it now in a manner that might be termed retrospective, even revisionist. His work features elements of architecture and “good design”—that is, precisely those disciplines that modern art cast as its Other. Moreover,

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