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Review: Dialogue excites at Los Caminos

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 17, 2011 - Los Caminos' latest exhibit pairs two artists, St. Louis-based David Johnson and Chicago-based Dominic Paul Moore, whose works produce a fascinating and unexpected dialogue.

Johnson's photographs document Los Caminos' transition from apartment to gallery, and then capture scenes of the space during past exhibitions. Nine of the photographs, hung in a grid, verge on total abstraction, transforming the walls, beams and doorways into stark, colorful geometries that could pass for color field or minimal, hard-edge paintings.

That aesthetic pervades Moore's work too, but more directly. "Wish I Had A Rabbit In A Hat With A Bat And A 2011 Audi A4" (2011) floats a rectangular painting on microfiber rag atop a rectangular painting on linen, somehow managing to simultaneously reference Joseph Albers and Jasper Johns.

Things get even trickier in "Tickle My Tuttle Toe" (2011), a mixed media painting that joins Henri Matisse's joyful strokes with Frank Stella's stern linear patterns before topping it all off with layers of plastic and green paint. In two untitled works, Moore has drawn patterns that offset fields of Ben-Day dots printed on pages from an antique coloring book.

In different media, and taking entirely separate approaches, Johnson and Moore reflect on art and its history, as they expose the caches of design hiding in plain sight in the everyday world.

Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic.

Ivy Cooper
Ivy Cooper is the Beacon visual arts reviewer and a professor of art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

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