• Richard Hawkins

    Richard Telles Fine Art

    “It is doubtless an excellent thing to study the old masters in order to learn how to paint,” wrote Charles Baudelaire, “but it can be no more than a waste of labor if your aim is to understand the special nature of present-day beauty.” Baudelaire wanted the best of both worlds: a painter able to apply the skills of the past but dedicated to capturing the contemporary world’s “pageant of fashionable life and the thousands of floating existences.” Baudelaire, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s coffeehouse observations of modern humanity, from “steady old fellows” to “the race of swell pick-pockets,”

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  • Peter Plagens

    USC Fisher Museum of Art

    The earliest of this exhibition’s thirty years of paintings and collages share the motif of a circle within an irregular field filling most of the canvas or paper support. Often alone, seldom sharing space with other circles or curvilinear elements, and sometimes cohabiting with rectilinear and triangular shapes, each hand-painted but compass-accurate circle is in some way incomplete. When painted as disks of solid color, they lack a wedge like a pie with a piece removed, or have a flat portion that Peter Plagens compares to a “round of gouda sliced on one side.” Elsewhere, they are rings broken

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  • George Stoll

    Angles Gallery

    To get at both the delicacy and the humor of George Stoll’s ongoing holiday project—the holiday du jour is Christmas—there’s no better place to start than his deft drawing of Christmas lights in a blizzard, Untitled (christmas lights, white sphere), 1999. Here, the artist has drawn variously sized circles in white pencil on white vellum so that the snowball circles of “lights” almost disappear like bubbles in champagne or a Ryman in a snowstorm. It’s a brazen, funny, and entirely sweet way of reducing art to its barest essentials—representation degree zero. You almost have to take it on faith

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