Larry Fodor's work can be hard to defend. When people carp about "modern art," when they talk about canvases full of smears and glops and they holler, "a chimp could have painted that," they're probably thinking of art like Fodor's. Even if you're proud to call yourself an artsy-fartsy weirdo, a little of this kind of art goes a long way.
But if you're in the right mood and you open yourself up to the experience, Fodor's smears and glops can be glorious. You can become mesmerized staring at his canvases the same way you can go into a trance looking at river rocks, or at the texture of the wood in an old barn. Stochastic XI, one of the pieces on display in Fodor's solo show "Ligatures" at the SCAPE gallery, is as simple or complex as you want it to be. Either it's just a bunch of colors and scratchy marks, or it's an apocalyptic sunset, a stretch of stagnant marshland, the stuff you see dancing behind your eyelids when you clamp your eyes shut on a very bright day. If you can hang with Stochastic XI, the rest of the show should be a breeze; some of Fodor's other paintings have an alluring, jewel-like glow, they're eye-catching in a way that Stochastic XI isn't. Stochastic Blue-Green/Violet is probably the belle of the ball here, the pretty one who demands your attention across a crowded room. But Stochastic XI has personality. This is the kind of painting you could take home to meet the folks.
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Larry Fodor's "Ligatures" @ SCAPE 2859 E. Coast Hwy. Corona Del Mar (949) 723-3406 Through Dec. 8th.