Usually when you go somewhere new you take some precautions as to how you will find this new locale. Maybe you ask someone to give you directions (true), perhaps you accompany someone who is familiar with the place (true dat), or if you are plugged in you might Google-map it (double true!).
I on the other hand have an inate ability to find things. I was aware that Lora Reynolds Gallery was located somewhere near Gallery Lombardi. In fact on a previous attempt to visit, I Googled the address and could not see anything since it was late at night. So I drive down the street at ten miles an hour at five in the evening. I must’ve looked pretty suspicious, but I only frightened two people. I reached the end of the street and considered turning around and look again, but I decided against it. This neighborhood looks too fancy for me. I may have a light-complexion, but I am still a Mexican driving a twenty year old car that’s wheezing as I cruise around some condos and upscale boutiques.
So I turn the corner and figure that perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. After all, Lora Reynolds is an anomaly in terms of what type of space it is and what forms of art are sold. Then I catch a glimpse of some large paintings from the corner of my eye. I am sure that lady in workout clothes doing stretches wasn’t too keen with me looking in her direction. I park and walk towards the lady and the entrance.
As I walk in I am greeted thrice. Once by the large piece in the far rear wall, then secondly and third by Jessica Halonen and a young lady I seem to remember as Lauren. I remember Lauren from a painting class we were in at UT. I tend to look away from greetings, especially when uncomfortable. Which I was. I look around the room twice and don’t see anything. There were four very large pieces, but my eyes dart around too fast to focus on anything. I recall an image of a silhoueted tree, like looking at the sky at night. There was another fiery landscape and two interiors. I walk towards the back, but soon realize there isn’t much more. I try to avoid eye contact with the ladies and turn right around and look at the first pieces again. They were large, paper-cut collages usually on a painted ground. I walk up and take a close look. I can see glue spill out from under the pieces of paper. That was not attractive. They are patterny, but do not hold my attention so I look at a shelf with an accordion-like book that has intricately cut objects still attached to the book. It was like a pop-up book meets an architectural model. It was cool, clearly my favorite piece. Before I leave, I check the price list to read titles and notice that there are two pieces I did not see. I walk to the back again with a furrowed brow and Jessica points out that the small gallery is located within the restroom. Funny, it made me smile.
The large cut collages did not do much for me. Supposedly they are composed to mimic the suspense that is created with similarly composed horror movies. I did not see it, and instead focused on the patterns the cut paper made in each piece. The scale of the work in the small gallery was more appropriate. Patterning still occurred and the suspense was lost to me, but my interest was held due to the meticulous skill required to create them.
No shame from me in admitting that the colorless work was my favorite. While collecting my thoughts and feelings about the work, I recalled a lecture by visiting artist, Dana Schutz, or maybe it was Sarah Sze (damn my fuzzy memory). Regardless of who it was, she showed us a slideshow of her portfolio, beginning with her graduate work. If it was Sarah, they were collections of things painted or gessoed white and systematically organized on the floor. Dana showed us a small canvas covered with white paint. She told us that she created work that she thought grad students should be making. Both of these women are excellent artists, and if I am barely at that stage where I like art to be white, I have a long way to go to making sound artwork.
So the large collages were not successful, the small works were missing something, and the accordion book deserves another look. Again, my rating system is giving me trouble. The show wasn’t horrible, but I don’t know if I want to categorize it with the Liz Ward show. I shall give it a tentative NOT BAD, but I will revisit during my planned art crawl. Then I’ll come back and tell you ’bout what I sees.