Lecia Dole-Recio: Museum of Contemporary Art

Article excerpt

Lecia Dole-Recio's first solo museum show lent a shimmering vitality to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art's otherwise lackluster "Focus" series of solo museum debuts by emerging Southern California-based artists. In a spare, unerring display of eight recent works, the microtonal play between Dole-Recio's core concerns (light and color in relation to transparency, translucency, and opacity) conveyed through and by her consistent use of gouache and graphite in conjunction with cardboard, paper, vellum, tape, and glue confirmed her status as one of the most discerning and inventive of abstraction's current practitioners.

In Dole-Recio's work, paint appears in splatters, washy gradated veils, calm swaths, and vibrantly tinted pools--often within a single piece. Crystallized rather than deconstructed, her grids have been transmuted like coal into diamond, faceted by various cuts and incisions. In one of her grandest works, Untitled, 2006, a squid-ink-black ground is enlivened by touches of hot pink and flecks of gold. Figure and ground are confused, blurred, and/or troubled to a point where the two concepts become frustrating and frustrated. What could be taken for skeletal elements shift toward the exoskeletal; shadow becomes that which casts shadow (both actual and illusionistic), "wrong" sides become "right" (i.e. "wronger"), cuts appear to connect rather than sever. This undoing--of sense, of structure, of rationalization--is accomplished through a radical saming, in which the work's surface is eroticized by its every site being made a potential node of pleasure, nonhierarchical and immediate, as the materials' physical othernesses are manipulated into a kind of equivalence. …