Frank Lloyd Gallery - Modern and Contemporary Ceramic Art   current exhibit archive news artists publications about contact home
Craig Kauffman
October 16-November 13, 2010
click here for exhibition artwork

       Opening Reception: Saturday, October 16, 2010, 5:00 to 7:00pm

The work of Craig Kauffman (1932-2010) is internationally recognized for its sensuous use of new materials and subtle, luminous use of color. Included in many recent major surveys of seminal Los Angeles art, Craig Kauffman's work exemplifies the holistic integration of color and form, made possible by his painterly concerns as well as his embracement of industrial techniques. In the first exhibition to be drawn from the Estate of Craig Kauffman, the Frank Lloyd Gallery presents a series of works made in 1969. Kauffman considered the 1969 works, which became known collectively as the Loops, to be the simplest of his works. These paintings were made from a single sheet of clear acrylic plastic and painted with sprayed acrylic lacquer. Suspended and floating slightly away from a wall, they reflect Kauffman's life-long interest in unorthodox supports for painting, as well as a sensuous and luminous color sensibility.

In a 1976 interview conducted by the UCLA Oral History Project, Kauffman stated "the loops, which were plastic, hung out from the wall, from the ceiling on a wire, and cast a shadow on the wall…they contain this kind of foggy color inside of them." This group was the last of several series of works made during the 1960s. In 1963 the artist began to experiment with painting on glass, having been influenced by Marcel Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even at the Pasadena Art Museum during a 1962 retrospective organized by his friend Walter Hopps. Kauffman then investigated the use of a new medium, acrylic plastic. After an initial group of works with flat plastic, Kauffman discovered the industrial process of vacuum forming, and proceeded to translate his sensuous forms to wall reliefs, painted on the reverse with sprayed acrylic lacquer. The works were shown first at Ferus in Los Angeles, and subsequently at Pace Gallery in New York.

By the summer of 1966, Kauffman's' acrylic plastic wall relief paintings were featured on the cover of Art in America. By 1967 his work had been acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art. At the time, the use of industrial materials and a reductive methodology was embraced by many mainstream artists. In what the artist considered to be the most accurate curatorial statement about his work, historian and critic Barbara Rose included Kauffman's work in A New Aesthetic at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, along with seminal Minimal artists Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Kauffman's colleagues Larry Bell, Ron Davis and John McCracken. As Barbara Rose noted in her catalogue essay, "Shaping the brittle sheet plastic into a series of voluptuous curves, Kauffman achieves a kind of abstract eroticism that is purely visual."