Dexter Dalwood

What's on: Dexter Dalwood

Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills

The skewed world of Dexter Dalwood—one of the London Saatchi Gallery’s “Neurotic Realists” back in 1999—is perfectly at home in Los Angeles, where Gagosian Gallery is exhibiting a group of recent paintings (until 16 March). There is something undeniably cinematic about his large, colorful imaginings of pop cultural history, such as “White Bronco” (left), a scene from the infamous OJ Simpson car chase. Taking inspiration from mass media images and transforming these with high octane colour, Dalwood puts a quintessentially late 20th-century spin on Pop art; his fascination with celebrity scandal seems specifically indebted to Warhol. He freely appropriates techniques from Ed Ruscha (the Hollywood sign in White Bronco), and other artists like Francis Bacon and Morris Louis, and cleverly paints art history, depicting Twombly-like scrawls on the walls of his interior view “Situationist Apartment May ’68” (2001). Dalwood’s range of subject matter is wide, as always—“Nietzsche’s Chalet”, for example, takes an unusual angle on philosophy. Especially resonant is “Nixon’s Departure” (2001): we’ve seen far too many overearnest representations of the American flag lately. Here the flag looks jubilantly ironic, jutting from the roof of a White House split down its centre, as if by an earthquake. Look for the catalogue essay by Dave Hickey.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 123 March 2002