Upon entering the Flatbed complex a Zanne Hochberg painting hangs on the wall opposite to the entrance. It is accompanied by a note directing you to walk around to the Flatbed Gallery towards the back, next to the print studio. That first painting is executed in what I identify as Abstract Expression. I wasn't particularly fond of it and I begin to worry about this show as I see a couple more works along the way. The only thing I dislike more than mediocre design trying to pass off as art is messy paintings trying to pass off as an expressionistic representation of the artist's emotions.
In the gallery there are prints and works on paper. Most have that same vocabulary. Brush marks, ink splotches, primary colors and active linework fill up the frames. Then there are those that have contour drawings of figures. Characters that were etched and then reworked. In both the expressionistic work and the more representational drawings some of the markmaking appeared well thought out and intentional. In others, they just looked random. Those tended to look muddy. It's as if Ms. Hochberg was disinterested in those pieces. On the other hand, the stronger pieces felt intentional because of the good composition. The lines are used to direct the eye or to begin to suggest an object.
My anxiety for the show was in part an underestimation of my abilities. I didn't think I would be able to decipher the markmaking of a painterly stroke. I walked around in the gallery a good five times. Each time examining every piece, trying to articulate what made it successful or not. As a whole, this group was saved from the trash. A couple of the pieces, including the one used for the postcard, were reworked artist proofs. An AP version or a bad print was recycled and used as a base to build up with mixed media.
After absorbing and storing my impressions of the show, I read the text provided on the artist. I get a history lesson. In what I think is the catalogue, I see the expressionistic work meeting the representational in a pair of paintings of women. The work in the show was decent. The educational value of illustrating process and recycling was beneficial. This show was GOOD.
I'll tell you 'bout what I sees.