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Los Angeles
Stephen Aldahl
Young Art
5658 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
June 15, 2013 - July 20, 2013

Doors of Perception
by Andrew Berardini


It's just outside the doors.


A long horizon line striping gray through most of those oblong holes, though there's a spot of green streaming the bottom over there. Maybe it's underworld strata, blocked off by the purity of its chosen color, a nice foundation, a firm earth to craft other planets, other doors out to them, into them. Doors are always body-size, even the doubles, like these here are made for two, arm-in-arm, coupled and linked. The double-door peeks into a vision that makes coupling look what it's dubbed, Gates of Hell, all works 2013.

Stephen Aldahl, Club Mood Swing: Dreamworks, 2013, oil and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 28 inches; Courtesy of the Artist and Young Art.




Inside it's white growing dirty with warm footprints and smearing fingers marring the pristine masonite taped together that envelops it all, like second day snow marred by traffic, making wonderlands into slush. Outside, the doors open to wrestling firelings or mountains of muscle intermittently frosted, peachy skinned cut-outs and piles of misshapen eggs, metaphysical evenings with distant caverns, igloos plopped in sunkissed fields, all folding back on and over, none of the colors layering into any average reality, but landscapes they still are. The lines are all right even if the colors cut and arch, plump and float into other tableaux, a painting-reality which obeys its own damn rules, all always set by their maker.

Stephen Aldahl, Club Mood Swing: Gates of Hell, 2013, oil and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 48 inches; Courtesy of the Artist and Young Art.





It’s all about stacked colors, finely wrought, making their own authenticity. But even as weird as the shapes may be, the colors seem even weirder in their familiarity, the Gates of Hell some half-remembered Southwestern vista, Vermillion Cliffs on fire in the sunset. Peeking at The Bather, blink twice and squint and you might see some ultra close-up of a lost Seurat. The hues all match but rather than a million points of chroma making a picture, a few pointed color swatches quilted together set the scene, just as strange and leisurely as those other bathers, last century, an ocean away. Seurat might have called these swathings less precise, but George died young for his own intense overworked vision of painting. These aren't imprecise, they're relaxed. More fun than laborious, these midsummer visions beckon a way through doors.


Andrew Berardini


(Image on top: Stephen Aldahl, Club Mood Swing: Floor Piece, 2013 , masonite, gaffers tape and acrylic latex , dimensions variable; Courtesy of the Artist and Young Art.)

Posted by Andrew Berardini on 7/9/13 | tags: landscape

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