“Do you like old things or new things that look old?” That’s the question posed in the title of the inaugural show at Taylor de Cordoba’s new Culver City space, an exhibition of works on paper by Simone Shubuck. The artist overheard this query from the mouth of a teenager, which seems a fitting source for a series such of loose and unabashedly whimsical reveries in paint, crayon and pencil. Blots and bolts and quick scrawls of color interweave with delicately drawn, naïve patterns on aged paper, curling at the edges. It all feels like the salvaged pages from the sketchbook of some ancient, starry-eyed adolescent.
The works brim with a sense of playfulness and irreverence. A collage-like quality pervades, as seemingly incongruous colors and sudden shifts in style pile up on top of each other. Yet this exuberant variety somehow all coheres in forms redolent of an explosive bouquet. Underscoring this effect is the sudden appearance of green leaves and floral motifs, and it comes as no surprise to learn that Shubuck has worked for years as florist.
Still, the opening question remains, though for Shubuck it is no doubt rhetorical—the choice between old things and new things that look old. Yet with so many cultural forms approximating styles from the past, the real question comes down to how one handles “old things.” I think a third category is order, one that captures the magic of Shubuck’s work: new things that look new because they look old.
“Do you like old things or new things that look old” is on view at Taylor de Cordoba in Los Angeles through June 1, taylordecordoba.com
Images: courtesy of Simone Shubuck and Taylor De Cordoba, Los Angeles