Daily Serving has just published my review of Evan Gruzis’ new show, Shell Game, currently up at The Suburban.
The works in Shell Game represent a major departure for Gruzis, whose earlier work used intensive ink washed to create hazy, funky riffs on the objects and places that make up a kind of pop-culture landscape by way of Los Angeles. These new paintings not only feel different—more sober, more serious, more contemplative—but look dramatically different as well. Using fabric-dying techniques rather than brushed paint, Gruzis has layered these medium-sized paintings with nesting frame shapes, or splayed radiating lines across the paintings’ surfaces against tie-dye patterns in smoky purples, blues, and icy grays. The effect is mesmerizing, and while dealing less in signification than visual intensity, Gruzis’ new body of work describes a double movement. In one direction, the paintings reintroduce the fades and drop shadows typical of post-internet aesthetics into the familiar tensions in optical abstraction; while at the same time, the works seem to be abstractions of earlier paintings by Gruzis, selecting from his own history and giving former stylistic effects—such as the fade behind a landscape in silhouette, the splash of color across sunglasses—room to operate on their own.
You can read the whole review here at Daily Serving.