Leo Mock: ". . . and still somehow"

M+is pleased to present “. . . and still somehow”, an exhibition of new paintings by Leo Mock, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition runs from June 21 through August 30, 2019, with an opening reception on Friday, June 21 from 6 to 8 pm.


Enigmatic seasides. Clouds plow the skies in surging stormy blacks and ice creamy heaps colored by the shifting lights seeped through LA sunsets and licked by JMW Turner. The sky hues and hazes with ancient harmonies, darkling blues into ethereal seafoam greens, the sun wearing all its age on her face like a yolky dowager, losing not one golden shimmer of radiant grandeur. Keep looking and something isn’t quite earthly about these vistas. The strips of rusty soil and salmon sands streaming alongside the ocean are just a bit alien. The white-capped waves that limb the verdigris sea and those clouds bending and linking at impossible angles seem almost alive. Perfumed with some wayward hallucinogen vapored from Yves Tanguy or truly and simply landscapes of another world. These seascapes could just as easily be found deep in the impossible Sunday strip terrains of George Herriman's Krazy Kat, always askew with sweet philosophical sadness or the melancholic good grief of Charlie Brown in another dimension.


Look even more closely and the lens limns with color, and a pair of avian limbs poke into the tableaux. Vivid blue and deep black, these long thin legs stand and recline, disembodied across our visions. The frame and these legs add a cryptic humor, taking us with a gentle wink further outside the norm. De Chirico’s ghost lurks maybe somewhere whispering metaphysics in our painter’s ear, but the artist Leo Mock for all his emotional gravitas and brushy force doesn’t take himself too seriously. Like his paintings, Leo Mock is also an enigma from another world. With a romantic’s bent and a post-punk’s avant absurdity, he might as well be hiding with a grin behind one of those clouds. Wherever he's from and wherever he might be hiding in the picture plane, he summons an otherworldly beauty with comic grace from a place beyond.


Leo Mock (b. 1964, Los Angeles, CA) graduated from Art Center College of Design. His works have been exhibited at China Art Objects in Los Angeles. “. . . and still somehow” is his first exhibition with M+B. Mock lives and works in Los Angeles.