Kevin Appel

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Geoff Tuck reviews the exhibition Kevin Appel, Paintings at Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, on view through August 23, 2012.

"There is a photographic base to these paintings – Appel takes pictures of landscapes ('in the landscape,' the artist says) and he mechanically applies them to treated canvas and then by hand he paints over them. (Here I want to keep in mind the insubstantial nature of photographic images.)…  looking at Salton Sea (heap), I find black, oily smears, these are veined as though they are spreading or are under pressure. (There are such colored smears on several paintings in the show.) The smears remind me of chemical mishaps that might be experienced using Polaroid cameras, when the developer would squeeze out of the pouch across the photo print. Appel’s paintings, which were begun in the camera, make reference to the photographic process again and again."

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