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“The Beatitudes of Malibu” at David Kordansky Gallery


A packed multi-generational show at David Kordansky Gallery celebrates nature and the sublime. Artworks from the early 1900s, by Millard Sheets and Charles Burchfield, ground the show in a tradition of plein-air landscape painting, while abstractions and more contemporary riffs on the subject matter bring the concept to a more expansive view of nature. The inclusion of one of the gallery’s artists, Lauren Halsey, who creates sculptural installations using ephemera found in South Central LA, loops in the urban landscapes of our city. 

The exhibition takes its title from a poem (featured in a book of poems published alongside the show) by Rowan Ricardo Phillips that begins in Malibu on the PCH, and dreamily takes the reader through the streets of Downtown before looping back to the coast. The expansive vision of our city—in which the foaming waves of Point Dume contrast the concrete streets of the Fashion District—serves as the starting point for this salon-style exhibition in which depictions of nature can be literal, metaphorical, or even self reflective (the human mind, of course, is another great landscape ripe for artistic musing).

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Photo: Installation view, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles: “The Beatitudes of Malibu,” May 15–July 2, 2021, Photo by Jeff McLane, Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.