The vivacious exhibition “Ray Turner: Population,” currently at the Long Beach Museum of Art, is soon to travel all over the country for at least another two years, but it never was and never will be the same show twice. For every city on its tour from the LBC to Akron and beyond, this beloved Pasadena artist not only personally directs the site-specific installation of the art but also shows up early and paints portraits of the local residents to add to his shows. The poetic sweep of so many kinds of faces is activated by the stylistic approaches in play. His brushwork's gamut runs from hair-splitting precision to muscular abstraction, sometimes within the same image. Flirting with optical dissolve while achieving a convincing likeness, Turner's nuanced color palette and varied brushwork are part of the expression of each sitter's character and the impressions made upon the artist. Turner works on glass, so his custom wall colors inform and further enliven the works, creating cast shadows that evoke the dimensionality of the real person. Paintings are installed sometimes as individual portraits alone on a wall, other times in groups or large grids, all in a precise choreography of color and lighting that creates the convincing effect of being in a room full of people.

Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: June 16. Continues through Sept. 11, 2011

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