John Altoon at LACMA

John Altoon, Untitled, 1964, from the Hyperion Series (© 2014 Estate of John Alt
John Altoon, Untitled, 1964, from the Hyperion Series, pastel and ink on illustration board, 56 × 40 inches (Dr. David and Arline Edelbaum. © 2014 Estate of John Altoon, photo © 2014 Museum Associates/LACMA)

Christopher Knight reviews a retrospective exhibition of works by John Altoon at LACMA, on view through September 14, 2014.

Knight writes that in Altoon's works: "Voluptuous color and luxurious interpenetrations of sensuous forms conspired to make messy, elegant, often witty abstract pictures. Their hedonistic punch is a delicious indulgence... Like artists as diverse as David Park in the Bay Area and Wallace Berman and William Claxton in L.A. ... Altoon's interest in the cool, seductive rhythms of West Coast jazz informed his work. He designed album covers for Pacific Jazz Records and other companies, but the music's reliance on sensual improvisation is what infiltrated his paintings... as Altoon matured into his mid-30s, those impulses would be caressed in lyrical — and inescapably erotic — reveries."

LA Times