The Wondrous art of Shane Guffogg

“When I Consider How My Light is Spent #19” by Shane Guffogg (oil on canvas, 2015)

“When I Consider How My Light is Spent #19” by Shane Guffogg (oil on canvas, 2015)

“Dance of Thought”

Paintings by Shane Guffogg in Manhattan Beach

It will be a privilege to see recent work by Los Angeles-based artist Shane Guffogg in our corner of the universe, in a show presented by Homeira Goldstein and Time4Art, opening Wednesday at the Manhattan Beach Art Center.

Guffogg thinks of his paintings as wordless poems, and has said that he wants them to hover between the known and the unknown.

“At the Still Point of the Turning World – Disturbing the Dust in a Bowl of Rose Leaves” by Shane Guffogg (oil on canvas, 2017)

“The Fifth Sound” by Shane Guffogg (clear crystal Murano glass, hand-blown and sanded, 1 of 7, 2015)

They seem to do exactly this, and partly through a process that employs dozens of layers of translucent paint, mixed with a glazing medium, so that there’s a tangible feeling of light swimming up to the surface from within. But how to describe what one sees? The viewer may think of flat noodles, Arabic calligraphy, or perhaps a kelp forest where sunlight filters through water. Others may think of swirls, atomic or galactic, or maybe both at once. Is the work still, or is it on the move? Guffogg is a profound, thoughtful artist, who carefully works each canvas until it says precisely what he wants it to say.

“Amor Fati #6” by Shane Guffogg (oil on canvas, 2016)

Just look at his titles. “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” is taken from John Milton, the great English poet whose final years were spent in darkness. The canvases may be large, the subjects elusive except to our imagination, but there is nonetheless a delicateness to many of them. To see them in person will be a joy.

Shane Guffogg: Dance of Thought opens Wednesday with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Manhattan Beach Art Center, 1560 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach. Through June 11. Call (310) 379-5800 or email ER


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