Rachel Sharpe: Epidermal Dress | Diane Kotiila: The Council

3311 East Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Mar 04, 5 PM - 8 PM — ends May 15, 2023
Rachel Sharpe: Epidermal Dress

de boer is pleased to present Epidermal Dress, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based painter Rachel Sharpe. Sharpe’s oil paintings present narrative vignettes that grapple with the corporeal nature of existence. The exhibition is on view from March 4 - April 15, 2023.

Sharpe paints highly particular - romantically dark pictures that emphasize philosophical queries. Simone Weil, a French philosopher and mystic has been an influential force in this body of work. Weil is known for saying that “Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring...” In Sharpe’s portraits and still lives humanities mortality is exposed through paintings that are still, offering long pauses and quaint moments that cover and mask the emotional turmoil lurking behind.

Sharpe has a proclivity for painting raw meat. In Steak (2022) a sirloin sits on a plate basking in light but remains uncooked. In Lamb (2023) a lamb chop dangles from the fingers of a hand over a white fur rug. Both pictures are akin to the venetian art of painting flesh and Dutch vanitas. In Steady (2023) a tightly cropped painting depicts a pair of hands in leather gloves resting on the mane of a horse.

Sharpe’s paintings suggest beauty not only as a feeling of finality, but also as a guide to transcendental goodness. The works hinge on the duality of mortality. The labor intensive textural details, such as skin and flesh, in all their fragility, draw out both the dark and the strangeness of the unknown. This collection of work contends with the loss and pain of physical existence while finding transcendence in the beauty of sensation.
Diane Kotila: the Council

(Los Angeles, CA) de boer is pleased to present The Council, Diane Kotila’s second exhibition with the gallery. Featuring paintings and ceramics that erode portraiture to its bare essentials, conceptually tearing into literature's adversarial male antagonists.

“The Council” is a series of portraits that illustrate the artist’s examination of a patriarchal society. They are somber, and even haunting paintings with bruised faces that are coupled together by aggressive bold mark making. Each of the painting's titles refers to a literary quote that references the behavior of an antagonistic male subject.

Cole Sweetwood described Kotila’s paintings as “dark and uneasy as the rudimentary set of marks it is treated with, a gaze that evokes the full range of human emotion. No absolutes exist in this realm of interpretation, isolating figures whose sexual ambiguity is slippery and deceptive. The coarseness of Kotila’s brushwork creates an absence of the idealization . . . the end result is a richly varied handling of paint, deeply layered and often intentionally haphazard, which suggests form and space in both an illusory and highly individual manner.”

Matthew Higgs has described Kotila’s paintings “as distinct as Philip Guston, Leon Golub, Bruce Nauman, and Joyce Pensato, among others, Kotila’s work ultimately seeks to both illuminate and interrogate the violence – emotional, psychological, and societal – that continues to shape and condition La Comédie humaine.” Rupture and fragmentation prevail in these visceral works that are characterized by oppositional formal devices, with a sharp emotion that actively explores uncomfortable truths.