Tom LaDuke

Candles and Lasers

Kohn Gallery is pleased to present Los Angeles-based artist Tom LaDuke’s first solo show at the gallery, titled Candles and Lasers. This exhibition will feature paintings ranging from small to very large-scale, and a selection of sculpture meticulously carved from elemental materials such as graphite, pewter and salt. These pieces reference the topography of a range of subject matter from Botticelli’s La Primavera (1477 – 1482), to a half scale portrait of the artist’s head nestled, as if sleeping, inside the skin of his arm.

This exciting exhibition features new sculpture and paintings that subvert the conventions of these mediums to underscore the various conditions (psychological, material, social, formal) that work to obscure understanding and perception. This body of work will continue LaDuke’s existential investigation into the nature and location of the Self, as viewers are self-consciously confronting objects that intentionally veil their subject matter.

Tom LaDuke’s painstakingly constructed paintings also toy with the boundaries of perception and recognition. Layering representational scenes (from film and art history, for example), with bold abstraction, LaDuke negotiates between the conceptual, material, spatial and formal issues inherent in painting. Abstract expressions dance atop the most precisely rendered compositions, flattening the layers of the painting to a single plane. These fresh daubs of paint and glitter complicate the viewer’s ability to enter into the familiar representations, underscoring the artist’s exploration of reality versus perceived reality.

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