Roger Kuntz 2012

Roger Kuntz: Signs of LA

January 7 - February 18, 2012


Goodbye on Target (Blimp series), circa 1969, oil on canvas, 50 x 60 inches; 127 x 152.4 centimeters

Goodbye on Target (Blimp series), circa 1969, oil on canvas, 50 x 60 inches; 127 x 152.4 centimeters

Press Release:

Santa Ana South, Do Not Enter, One Way, Double Arrow 90 or Asphalt Triple Arrows; the titles tell the tale.  Life in Los Angeles is filled with signs most frequently viewed from the inside of a car.  Yet, in Roger Kuntz’s re-telling, complete with solid backgrounds of bright blue, soft grey or spring green, all these markers become symbols; advice made graphic or directions devoid of threat, pure visual stimuli and fresh-eyed re-inventions of the subject material.  

Though Kuntz is frequently described as an American landscape painter, his ‘Freeway’ and ‘Sign’ series, executed between 1959 and 1962, signal the artist’s exploration of a “middle ground” between figurative and non-figurative painting.  Also, his imagery represents a dramatic shift in the thematic investigations of his painterly predecessors: the American Scene painters of the 30’s and 40’s.      

A long time California resident, Kuntz captured the suggestive graphics of signs, underpasses, ramps and concrete canyons with a post-modern detachment played out in full sun.  Then and now, the Kuntz Freeway paintings offer a dazzling visual riff on a mainstay of Southern California life.

The gallery is pleased to present the exhibition as a participating gallery in the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.