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Craig Kauffman
Constructed Paintings 1973 - 1976
March 23-April 27, 2013
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The Frank Lloyd Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Craig Kauffman's constructed paintings, made during the years 1973 to 1976. This significant group of works was produced in studios in California, New York, and Paris during a period of transition for the artist. His exploration of basic painting support and structure was parallel to the post-minimal and process-oriented painting and sculpture of that time, yet retained Kauffman's inventive use of high-key color. The works reflect Kauffman's life-long interest in unorthodox supports for painting, as well as a sensuous and luminous color sensibility.

By the early 1970s, Kauffman had completed a lengthy seven-year period of working with formed plastic, as well as experimentations with installations of light reflections. Kauffman made a conscious decision to leave the medium of painting on plastic and the installations to begin a new body of work. He began to use a lightweight but dimensionally stable wood called jelutong to form the structural elements and develop a vocabulary of shapes. Canvas and muslin were attached to the front and the back of these supports. He also made use of the wall and the open space between the painted areas. Drawing was also incorporated in the work. In an interview with Michael Auping in 1976, Kauffman stated "…the only way I can work my way back into painting is to really reconstruct painting for myself."

Craig Kauffman's previous plastic relief paintings were his most well-known work. In the constructed paintings of the 1970s, Kauffman deliberately returned to basics, challenged the rectangular format of painting, yet kept his sensibility. "Kauffman's work has maintained its radiant color and its emphasis on certain sensuous physical properties of his materials," according to Susan C. Larsen. 1 It is through his integration of color, linear structure and shape that he achieved the architectural presence of this series of constructed paintings.

Craig Kauffman (19322010) was a major Los Angeles artist whose work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad since 1951. Kauffman remained an active and enthusiastically received painter who was equally well recognized for his history of adventurous engagement with new materials. Kauffman is one of the most prominent and influential artists to have come out of Los Angeles, having shown with Felix Landau Gallery in the 1950s and later at Ferus during the 1960s.
1 Larsen, Susan C., Sunshine and Shadow: Recent Paintings in Southern California, Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1986

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