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Huffington Post

12/16/11 
Haiku Reviews:
Not-Quite Minimalism, Hallucinatory Hyper-Realism And ‘The Glass Menagerie’
by Peter Frank

 


Tom LaDuke, based in Los Angeles, is showing for the first time in New York – surprising, because his particularly heady kind of representation manifests the kind of razor-sharp intellection one associates with New York discourse. The depth to which LaDuke burrows in his image-sandwiching paintings, with their layers of reference (to films historical art, and LaDuke’s own life), meaning, and optical effect might at first seem self-indulgent, but these canvases – especially now – cohere almost magically and, thus making visual sense, invite us into their otherwise confounding informational strata. The sculptures, trompe-l’oeil fabrications from incongruous materials (a bird’s feather made of human hair and fingernails, a lace kerchief of salt and superglue) seem more familiar, and a lot more “gettable.” But as such, they are less clever counterfeits and more feats of replication whose delicacy establishes its own level of experience. LaDuke addresses issues of perception with mindful persistence as well as virtuosic craft, marking him historically as well as spiritually as, well, very L.A. (CRG, 548 W. 22nd St., NY; thru Dec. 17. www.crggallery.com
– Peter Frank 

TOM LaDUKE, in a clearing, gather, 2011, Oil and acrylic on canvas over panel, 60 x 80 inches