San Diego

Roger Kuntz
San Diego
Oil on canvas, 1962-63
60 x 72 inches
Gift of Mary M. Kuntz-Cote
1991.214

Roger Kuntz’s series of sign paintings arose naturally from his fascination with the manmade landscape of the Los Angeles freeways. A true modernist, he was also fascinated by the contradictions of representing a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface. Choosing a subject that is flat to begin with afforded him opportunities for subtly playing upon our expectations as viewers. What we see comes close to replicating an actual sign—until we notice that the effect of light and shade is painted not real; the letters and numbers show the imperfections of the handmade; and there are Abstract Expressionist-like drips of paint at the bottom of the canvas.