“Finer Days” by Leslie Vance at David Kordansky GalleryLeslie Vance’s new work steps into a whole new realm: Her delicately painted still lifes are breathtakingly gorgeous. Every ranunculus petal or seashell is painstakingly rendered in oil and set against a dark background, as if her organic subjects are on a stage. The feeling that they are spotlighted in a black box gives them a surreal quality, and her dramatic lighting and rigorous detail force us to behold what can be so easily overlooked. It is so popular these days to urge artists to go bigger; Vance certainly gains quite a lot by scaling down. While her images reference a long history, and in particular 17th-century Spanish painters, her new work is not only refreshing, but also radical.

510 Bernard St., L.A. | www.davidkordanskygallery.com | (323) 222-1482 | Through July 21

“Life Is Real Only Then When I Am” by Timothy Hull at Taylor De Cordoba

The title of Timothy Hull’s show is taken from a book by the mystic and spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff. Hull is interested in the intersection of East meets West and spiritual and mystical ideologies, and he explores this symbolism in drawings, paintings and collage. Many of the pieces have patchwork sections of heavy patterning that resemble the structure of the Enneagram diagram Gurdjieff found in Sufi mysticism and made popular in the West. Some of the works are hypnotic in their intricacies, while others draw on more modern forms. Gurdjieff himself is featured, as well as followers such as writer Katherine Mansfield and editor Jane Heap.

2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. | www.taylordecordoba.com | (310) 559-9156 | Through June 23

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