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exhibition review

“Decade” celebrates the 10 years that Las Vegas-based painter Tim Bavington has been exhibiting in Los Angeles. The 15-work show, at Mark Moore Gallery, reveals that the London-born artist is in it for the long haul and capable of taking viewers on rides filled with more twists and turns than can be imagined.

Bavington's new spray-painted stripe paintings are as gorgeous as any of the delectable abstractions he has made in the past, but far more complex in their emotional resonance. Alongside the joy and playfulness that seemed to be Bavington's specialty come slower, more savory sensations: rich mixes of sentiments seasoned by sorrow, suffering and loss but still thrilled by the rhythms and textures of life's little pleasures.

Compositionally, Bavington's works on canvas and paper are significantly more sophisticated, or increasingly fine-tuned, than previous pieces. The angled bands of colored light that streak across the 10-foot-long “Pyramid” and the 5-foot-square “Witchcraft” wreak delicate havoc with the body's sense of balance.

The blurriness of “Bold as Love” makes it seem as if the 6-foot-square painting is dissolving before your eyes. All three canvases subtly evoke the fleeting nature of experience and, ultimately, life's transience.

His smaller works on paper, all based on album covers designed by Barney Bubbles, Malcolm Garrett and Peter Saville, bring more space into his abstract images. This makes them more enigmatic and fascinating.

Bavington's palette accounts for the greatest leaps his art has taken. His colors were always electrifying. Now they're stranger, more sensual and nuanced, with a wider range of tonal variations, increased translucence and more slippery shifts among wildly original combinations.

Like pop songs, Bavington's abstractions waste no time in getting your attention. And like symphonies, they unfold slowly, with shifting tempos that lure memories into the moment, filling it with infinite richness.

–David Pagel

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