Alex Couwenberg: Crosscurrent

Alex Couwenberg, St. James, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 46 inches (courtesy of
Alex Couwenberg, St. James, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 46 inches (courtesy of Andrea Schwartz Gallery)

David M. Roth reviews the exhibition Alex Couwenberg: crosscurrent at Andrea Schwartz Gallery, San Francisco, on view through December 20, 2013.

Roth writes that "Couwenberg’s precisely crafted paintings — built of off-kilter geometric and biomorphic shapes, taped-off lines and blocks of strong color — radiate the kind of synthetic sex appeal that has long been a hallmark of LA art... Custom car colors, drab institutional/industrial hues, metallic and pearlescent finishes, pinstripes and gradations of luminosity and opacity achieved through layering are the basic building blocks of his art... the artist creates the sensation of deep, labyrinthine spaces, interconnected through subtle shifts in tonality, eye-fooling replications of oxidized metal surfaces and raised, taped-off lines that impart to his acrylic paintings a relief-like quality. The near-perfect state of equilibrium he achieves in integrating these elements is a wondrous thing that only a curmudgeon opposed to retinal pleasure could deny."