Los Angeles

View of “Paul Heyer,” 2013.

View of “Paul Heyer,” 2013.

Paul Heyer

Night Gallery

View of “Paul Heyer,” 2013.

Oarfish, a twenty-seven-foot-tall soft sculpture representing the titular deep-sea creature, its silver silk body speckled with sumi-ink brushstrokes, presided over Paul Heyer’s second solo exhibition at Night Gallery. With a rippling, fiber-optic fin that glowed red in the darkened space, the fish was a curiosity among a show that featured fourteen semi-abstract paintings. The serpentlike form was borderline hokey, something you might find in a puppet theater or at a child’s birthday party. Yet the quietly symbolic allure of the fish—a mysterious and rarely seen creature that lives in ocean depths of 3,300 feet and is likely the basis of much sea-serpent lore—seemed a sincere theme for the artist, and its inclusion offered an explicitly figurative reference point for a body of work that shape-shifted between abstraction and representation.

The paintings included in this

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2014 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.