Quickly scanning the walls of the modest room, you might be initially tempted to utter the word “dated” to hurriedly pass judgment on Scott Anderson’s paintings. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. If Cubists, Expressionists, and Surrealists all drove a pickup truck in their cowboy getup and moved to New Mexico, one of their offsprings might just grow up to become Anderson. Though the first impression of his show, titled Wiseguys at CES Gallery in Downton Los Angeles, might appear passé, you would quickly retract your verdict. Anderson’s bold images do not belong in the past. They are undoubtedly here and now and demand your undivided attention.
Skillfully striking a balance between representation and abstraction, figurative and landscape, playful and forceful, and wonky and determined, Anderson’s scenes are as sophisticated as they are energetically animated. With the voracious appetite for glaringly saturated chroma, the forms storm the stage. Although mostly contained within the four edges of the canvases, these convoluted figures with little to no expression are highly charged; like a ticking homemade bomb about to implode and collapse the universe.
So forget the first impression. Take back what you said. The longer you chew on Anderson’s audacious paintings, the more flavorful they become. The fun lies in first going, “Huh?” and later saying, “Wow!”
Scott Anderson’s Wiseguys is still on view until May 2, 2015 at CES Gallery in DTLA. It’s a BETTER-CHECK-IT-OUT.