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Simon Bill
at Patrick Painter, Inc., Santa Monica, California
Recommendation by Michael Shaw

An Englishman whose work has found fans among top British artists but has otherwise been relatively unrecognized, Simon Bill’s odd output is spread across both of of the gallery’s Bergamot Station spaces. Using identically-shaped oval panels (each 50 x 38 ¼ x 2”), the work ranges from the more experimental and sculptural in the East gallery to the more painterly in the West. In the East gallery works, dating from 1999 and 2000, Bill goes from drilling holes into yacht-varnished plywood in “A Good Idea,” to tacking on polystyrene, wool, silicon and fake gems for “The Man Who Invented Golf.”  Their aggressive challenge to or disregard for polite aesthetics share something of Mike Kelly’s spirit. The work in the West gallery, mainly from this year, ascribes to a layered painterliness that is more optically engaging but still abounds with eccentricity. Continuing with his knack for good titles, “Aliens Have Navels” and “Crispy” both succeed despite their odd color mixtures; their textural variety is both numerous and tasty to the eye. The overall effect is a delayed time warp, disorienting and unsettling but not at all unpleasant.

Published courtesy of ArtScene ©2009

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