The Numbers Paintings from 1989
In the third exhibition to be drawn from the Estate of Craig Kauffman (1932-2010), the Frank Lloyd Gallery presents a series of paintings by Kauffman made in 1989. In the Numbers paintings, Kauffman's interest in unorthodox application of paint and love of the physicality of painting are accompanied by his brilliant color sense. Kauffman considered the 1989 works, which became known as the Numbers, to be a continuation of his use of calligraphic line, and an integration of sensuous color with architectural form.
These large-scale paintings were made following Kauffman's first move to the Philippines. Images of volcanos, ethnic sculpture (Santos) and architecture (Four Kobos) are included in the backgrounds of the works. With allusions to these elements from his new environment, as well as his use of the vertically divided canvas, Kauffman makes use of his broken, calligraphic line—the same line that has been present in his paintings since the 1950s.
These eight paintings were not shown in Los Angeles, though some were included in the large survey of Los Angeles painting, Abstraction, mounted by the Nagoya City Art Museum in 1990. That Nagoya exhibit included the work of Kauffman, Sam Francis, John Altoon, John McLaughlin and Ed Moses. The eight major paintings are accompanied by five works on paper. The drawings present the looping calligraphy of the numbers, and demonstrate the artist's process.