los-angeles

Calvin Marcus, Automatic Drawing #18, 2015, oil crayon and Flashe paint on linen, 48 × 96". From the series “Automatic Drawings,” 2014–.

Calvin Marcus

David Kordansky Gallery

Calvin Marcus, Automatic Drawing #18, 2015, oil crayon and Flashe paint on linen, 48 × 96". From the series “Automatic Drawings,” 2014–.

Calvin Marcus’s first major solo show in Los Angeles was titled “Malvin Carcus,” suggesting, somewhat perversely for this painter just embarking on his professional career, that the works on view were traceable to an alter ego, and, moreover, to one that might be deceased—a carcass. The transposition of letters in Marcus’s name could be interpreted as a revealing slip of the tongue, a spoonerism, but one performed consciously, to both acknowledge the morbid specters that haunt all talk of painting and to get them out of the way. Or it could be read as perfectly meaningless but nonetheless tactical. Let’s remember that this is a ploy sometimes used on Facebook, for instance, when a person wants to remain hidden from all but a select group of friends. In some sense, Marcus slyly proclaimed that this show is for you!

To align Marcus’s practice with social media might seem odd,

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