The recently deceased Dora De Larios brought a warm positivity to the damp evening opening at the Craig Kull Gallery at the Bergamot Station. Her mirthful ink works were reminiscent of children’s illustrations, themselves generally an uplifting work to bring about a sense of wonder to a child’s imagination. Curious, it is, how often the metamorphosis into adulthood by the well-nurtured is characterized by a dramatic realization that the world is not a cheery dream place on the road to Providence; if such a child is blessed with the cognizance of such. Nevertheless, Ms. De Larios exhibits a strong definition of playfulness with reality.
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Dora De Larios, self portrait, 2017, ink and pen on paper; 12″ x 9″

Her Untitled portraiture of a friendly feline is undoubtedly a whimsical caricature of a normal-day happen stance. What would otherwise be the illustration of a common and therefore boring nocturnal gesture is brought into a warm movement of creative expressionism. We clearly see a genetical linkage to the liberation of the artist’s mind from realism brought by the Modernists a la Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2 and Picasso’s Cubism. It’s not unwelcoming, in other words, for us to experience the representation of cat paws as floating orbs, nor are we dissatisfied with the lack of perspective with the cat on the carpet.
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But Ms. De Larios further extends the gains from 20th century fine artistry with the interpersonal warmth of femininity. She clearly is not stern about her methodology. Were we to suggest her aim, it would be to please. And she does so with her colorful figurative expressions, which do not implore the subjective viewer to apply the brain to digest the work. It’s delightfulness to the eyes is well apparent, and it’s no small feat to be so elegant with the composition subject yet achieve such profound happiness. Ms. De Larios perhaps tells us it’s the little things in life that make it worth living.

The exhibition will remain on view through February 16, 2019; Craig Krull Gallery is located at Bergamot Station, B-3, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica 90404;

This review has been previously published on adilettante. To find out more about Joseph A Hazani, his website and read more of his reviews, visit