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Mark Dutcher
at Jason Vass Gallery, Los Angeles, California
by Genie Davis

Mark Dutcher, “Dancing Nowhere,” 2016-17, oil on canvas, 78 x 112”

Mark Dutcher’s abstract paintings are stark but sensuous. Flowing color and dramatic patterns pop from the canvases of “Another World.” Though abstract, the images refer to and represent Dutcher’s own autobiographical canon, his memories and themes taken from literature. The artist frequently layers and reworks the paintings, disguising but not obliterating past incarnations of each piece. The exhibition is made up of works from two recent series, “Kick the Can” and “Utopian Grid.” 


“Kick the Can Between the Clock and the Bed” mixes together boot images, solid colored balls, angled shapes that form a maze and, dominating the composition, is a diamond-shaped grid of lines that creates a dazzling multi-dimensional look. In “Socks Boots Balls (Kick the Can) for Tom of Finland and Thomas Chamberlain,” varied sizes of multi-colored balls — their patterns reminiscent of stained glass — seem caught in motion between a booted foot, a scattering of blue sticks, and small strips of scattered confetti. In “Head with Dead Boot” a splotchy black boot-like creature takes the center of a thick swirl of white paint, while blossoming out from a corner a multi-colored swatch is studded with floral shapes. From the “Utopian Grid” series, “Summer Brings Flowers this Fall Again” is a standout, with screened patterns floating over intense gold and purple backgrounds, creating a compelling multi-dimensional look.

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