los-angeles

Nick Aguayo, Untitled, 2014, acrylic and marble dust on canvas, 96 × 96".

Nick Aguayo

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Nick Aguayo, Untitled, 2014, acrylic and marble dust on canvas, 96 × 96".

Nick Aguayo’s abstract paintings have a collage-like sensibility, as if created by placing cutout swatches of color on horizontal surfaces. This effect—one that brings to mind Leo Steinberg’s characterization of the flatbed picture plane as “a receptor surface on which objects are scattered”—is heightened by the autonomous nature of each individual form. Departing from the scumbled brushstrokes in some of Aguayo’s earlier paintings, the eight untitled canvases in the artist’s first solo exhibition at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects were notable for their shift toward cleanly delineated shapes in uniform hues.

In several instances, the studied randomness of Aguayo’s arrangements recalls Hans Arp’s 1917 Untitled (Collage with Squares Arranged According to the Laws of Chance). As in the famous earlier example—a piece whose formal elegance belies its origin

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