Los Angeles

Vanessa Maltese, Rigmarole, 2018, oil on panel in powder-coated steel frame with magnets, 52 × 41".

Vanessa Maltese

Night Gallery

For a 2016 show at Cooper Cole in her native Toronto, Vanessa Maltese referenced the story of Zeuxis, painter of grapes so luscious that birds were wont to peck at them. At Night Gallery, for her first solo show in Los Angeles, she continued the theme with Duped by the grapes (all works 2018), a wryly fragmented scene that exuberantly plays up the fruit’s fictive status. As in the other six flatly graphic geometric oil paintings on view that evoked the bright, interlocking compositions of Memphis design, she employed trompe l’oeil drop shadows and visual cues for recession (space in her work is mostly hypothetical, though she does score the paint such that the wooden support shows through in each piece). In Rigmarole, she painted accordion-like bands stretched from edge to edge, implying tension that could snap out of the container altogether. And, indeed, edges serve an important role in

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