Mark Moore Gallery is pleased to present "Si vis pacem para bellum," the gallery’s second solo show from Los Angeles based artist Lester Monzon. Continuing his exploration of melding rigid patterns with abstract expressionist techniques, Monzon creates works that express the organized chaos of everyday urban reality.
In this new body of work, Monzon begins with limitations. In an ode to minimalism he works within the confines of the grid, creating layers of intricate formal patterns-- only to destroy them and create them again. Utilizing the grid as a backdrop, the artist sets the stage for large expressive areas of thick, colorful strokes and free flowing pigment. Through a repetition of tight structures, destruction, and large loosely painted area, Monzon builds a tension--collapsing references to architecture, space, and art history.
As art critic Natilie Hareen wrote in Art Forum about Monzon’s work, “Seemingly all the formal painting devices from the last fifty years have been brought to bear in Monzon’s canvases: the gestural brushstroke; the grid as found compositional device; the chance-determined stain; and the diagrammatic line. ” All of this plays out to reflect a strangely familiar reality. Be it graffiti on tiles in a public bathroom or stains on the sidewalk, Monzon’s paintings echoes the intricately mapped bedlam that surrounds us, and how beautiful it can be.
Monzon (b. 1973, Brooklyn) received his M.F.A. from Art Center College of Design (CA). His work has been exhibited at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art (CA), in addition to shows in San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (CA). The artist lives and works in Los Angeles (CA).