Kevin Appel


This veteran L.A. painter, known for his architectonic compositions, has shifted his focus to the desert. The backgrounds of the paintings in this show feature photographs of the deserts surrounding his city, with a focus on accumulations of man-made waste. On top of this ground, he applies layers of paint in a limited palette of black, white and primary hues, energetically and nimbly foregrounding familiar abstract idioms, from stripes to translucent rectangles of color to Polke-esque dots. At times, the tangles of rebar piled in the sand resemble painted marks, conjuring Christopher Wool’s scribbles in particular. While his paintings may comment on environmental degradation, their strongest impact is their expansive post-digital formalism.