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Craig Kauffman

Paper, Plastic & Wood

Cirrus 2019


Craig Kauffman

Paper, Plastic & Wood

June 29th August 17th, 2019 Cirrus Gallery 2011 S. Santa Fe Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90021

Cirrus 2019


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Craig Kauffman working in his Paris studio, 1976

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Paper, Plastic & Wood Introduction

Portrait of Craig by Tony DeLap, c. 1981

Cirrus is pleased to announce a survey exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Craig Kauffman. Spanning the years 1971- 1999 the works on view reflect a sensuous and luminous color sensibility fused with the artist’s fascination with the unorthodox. Kauffman is a native Californian and seminal figure in contemporary Los Angeles art who is perhaps best known for implementing plastic as his primary medium. Although he has been associated with critical groupings such as Finish Fetish and Light and Space, his work precedes those categories, and his work substantially transcends their limitations. Kauffman’s origins were in architecture, enrolling early in the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California, he was mentor and friend to Frank Gehry before transferring to the Department of Art at UCLA in 1952. One of the original members of the Ferus Gallery, Kauffman participated in the now legendary opening show, Objects on the New

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Installation view, 2019

Landscape Demanding of the Eye where he also had his first solo show in 1957. Among others key to the west-coast contemporary canon, Kauffman was particularly influential to Robert Irwin and Ed Moses, both of whom with which he shared a Los Angeles studio. The relationship between color and surface was a primary concern for Kauffman, expressed concisely through his internationally renowned series of vacuum and press-formed plastic wall reliefs that investigate the material aspects of color. The exhibition marks the rare display of one of such forms; Untitled, 1973 never previously exhibited in an LA gallery and not shown

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Installation view, 2019

since its display at Pace Gallery in New York in the seventies. This glossy and symmetrical work utilized a vacuum-formed molding technique developed for commercial signage. The transparent, plastic “bubbles” that formed were then painted from behind, achieving a luminous effect through the integration of color and ambient light, to create works which cannot be classified as either painting or sculpture. Kauffman felt printmaking was not a separate but equal activity to painting. Using similar colors, the prints on view are finished ideas in conversation with his works on plastic and paper. The earliest four prints selected for the exhibition were made when Cirrus founder, Jean Milant approached Kauffman in 1971 after seeing what Kauffman called a “colored water reflection piece”

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Installation view, 2019

in the Transparency, Reflection, Light, Space exhibition at UCLA. Affected by the reflections of colored light on the walls of the gallery, Milant proposed a magnified image of a blood cell he saw on the cover of Scientific American be translated through lithography – it’s undulations emulating the ripples of light in Kauffman’s earlier work. Together they hand-printed each of these four prints in red, violet, green, and yellow tones in an edition of eighty. This was to be their first of many projects together and the evolution of this collaborative relationship – and changes in Kauffmans overall practice – can be seen throughout the years through the prints on view in the gallery.

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Paper, Plastic & Wood Selected Works

Craig Kauffman Untitled 1973 8


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1976 9


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1971 10


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Installation view, 2019

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Installation view, 2019

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Craig Kauffman Untitled 1973 16


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1983 17


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1981 18


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1983 19


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1973 20


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Installation view, 2019

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Craig Kauffman Untitled 1981 24


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1983 25


Craig Kauffman Untitled, State I 1980 26


Craig Kauffman Untitled 1980 27


Craig Kauffman Untitled, State II 1980 28


Craig Kauffman Untitled, State I 1980 29


Craig Kauffman Untitled, State III 1980 30


Craig Kauffman Untitled, State II 1980 31


Craig Kauffman Untitled (Three Knots) 1999 32


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Paper, Plastic & Wood Index

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1973 Acrylic lacquer on press-formed plastic 96” x 61” 003-73-CK Pg. 12

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1981 Lithograph Edition of 45 20 1/4” x 16 1/2” 317c-CK81 Pg. 22

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1976 Oil on silk and wood 40” x 30” 001-76-CK Pg. 13

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1982 Lithograph Edition of 50 29” x 34” 328c-CK82 Pg. 23

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1971 Lithograph Edition of 80 21 1/2” x 26 3/4” (each sheet) 43” x 53 1/2” (overall) 039c-042c-CK71 Pg. 14-15

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1984 Lithograph (diptych) Edition of 50 30” x 20” (each sheet) 30” x 40” (overall) 356c-CK84 Pg. 24-25

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1973 Silkscreen on vellum Edition of 50 40 1/4” x 26” 073cs-CK73 Pg. 20

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1982 Lithograph Edition of 45 41” x 23” 327c-CK82 Pg. 28

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1983 Lithograph Edition of 300 18 1/2” x 14 1/2” 336c-CK83 Pg. 21

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1981 Lithograph Edition of 45 41” x 23” 318c-CK81 Pg. 29

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Craig Kauffman Untitled, State I, 1980 Lithograph, Silkscreen Edition of 25 42 1/2” x 29 3/4” 299c-CK80 St I Pg. 30

Craig Kauffman Untitled, State II, 1980 Lithograph, Silkscreen Edition of 25 33 1/4” x 23 1/2” 298c-CK80 St II Pg. 35

Craig Kauffman Untitled, 1980 Lithograph, Silkscreen Edition of 50 33 1/4” x 23 1/2” 285c-CK80 Pg. 31

Craig Kauffman Untitled (Three Knots), 1999 Lithograph Edition of 45 23” x 51 1/8” 590c-CK99 Pg. 36-37

Craig Kauffman Untitled, State II, 1980 Lithograph, Silkscreen Edition of 25 42 1/2” x 29 3/4” 299c-CK80 St II Pg. 32

Craig Kauffman Untitled, State I, 1980 Lithograph, Silkscreen Edition of 25 33 1/4” x 23 1/2” 298c-CK80 St I Pg. 33

Craig Kauffman Untitled, State III, 1980 Lithograph, Silkscreen Edition of 25 42 1/2” x 29 3/4” 299c-CK80 St III Pg. 34

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Artwork and Installation images courtesy Cirrus Gallery & Cirrus Editions Ltd. Cover image: ‘Craig Kauffman in his Eagle Rock Studio, 1989’ courtesy Jim McHugh © Jim McHugh/ Estate of Craig Kauffman ‘Craig Kauffman working in his Paris Studio, 1976’ (pgs. 2-3) courtesy Kathy Halbower © 2018 Estate of Craig Kauffman/Artist’s Rights Society (ARS) ‘Portrait of Craig by Tony Delap, c. 1981’ (pg. 4) courtesy courtesy Tony Delap © 2018 Estate of Craig Kauffman/Artist’s Rights Society (ARS) Catalog essay by Saskia Bailey Layout and design by Nico Hernandez For more information visit www.cirrusgallery.com Cirrus Editions Ltd © 2019


Cirrus 2019

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Profile for Jean  Milant

Craig Kauffman: Paper, Plastic & Wood  

View the exhibition catalog for 'Craig Kauffman: Paper, Plastic & Wood.' Catalog essay by Saskia Bailey.

Craig Kauffman: Paper, Plastic & Wood  

View the exhibition catalog for 'Craig Kauffman: Paper, Plastic & Wood.' Catalog essay by Saskia Bailey.