THE NEW YORK TIMES ART IN REVIEW; Tim Lokiec at LFL Gallery By ROBERTA SMITH Published: July 18, 2003
The clotted, druggy figurative paintings in Tim Lokiec's solo debut may be trying a little too hard, but they achieve a remarkable visual and emotional intensity, even when meaning and intention are hard to fathom. For the most part, it seems to be a teenage boy-girl thing.
On the one hand, the artist is extending the monster wing of Bad Painting somewhat in the vein of Jason Fox, only juicier. In ''3rd Plateau Eye Camera,'' boys don hoary masks to view a giant geometric structure that hovers like a vision, or a total eclipse of representation, above the ocean. On the other, he increases the ever-expanding race of doe-eyed teenage girls introduced in the early 1990's by Rita Ackerman, crossing high-school-notebook doodling with Seventeen magazine fashion illustration. In ''Jin and Snowball (seasick)'' four girls, so golden they seem almost jaundiced, whose stylish attire includes a bright, insistently detailed knitted poncho, share a little hollow with two white dogs. ''Shiiba Linu'' features another dog in a field of dense yellow-green grass; it sits between a beautifully painted electric keyboard and a kitten's mangled carcass, as if awaiting its next command.
Mr. Lokiec clearly wants a surface to call his own. So far, it's thrift-shop Bonnard with touches of Ryder and Blakelock, the latter especially in the pastoral ''Nocturnal Atmospheric Event.'' The results can grate, but they are also wonderfully messy and weird, and lurking behind them are miragelike bits of the linear images and patterns borrowed from the marvelous drawings that Mr. Lokiec has been showing this season. The drawings are also well represented here, fraught with teenage muses, assorted obsessive textures (especially fabric) and crystalline structures. Occasionally these veer toward abstraction, indicating yet another option.