Walking up to the DAC always give you a peek at what art awaits within. So as I arrive, I can see some abstract looking paintings in the gallery. Taking a quick look around, this work seems familiar.
The color palette looks similar for each artist. Alot of green and red, but not enough to make it look like Christmas. The paintings visible from outside are by Andy St. Martin. They have blocks of color and zipping lines that counterbalance the mass of the color. There seems to be a wash laid down first and then thin layers of swatches build up to the blocks of color. They look completed, but seem to be more concerned with composition than color. But I do concede to there being color relationships. Although at first they do appear to be just abstract elements, I could swear I could see exactly what Mr. St. Martin was painting. When I read the title about the cat and water bowl, the purple swatch focused into the bowl as the calligraphic lines loosely deifned the cat. I experienced something like that in most paintings.
Adreon Henry was easier to read. Most of his work were serigraphed images on vinyl canvases. Images of houses, telephone poles, and other seemingly random items are repeated. Being representational, the images become whole elements that act like Mr. St. Martin’s color blocks. The rest of Mr. Henry’s work was a little too similar to Lance Letscher. Strips of material (I think it was vinyl) are crisscrossed or woven onto a canvas. The text or imagery is deconstructed, but a new pattern emerges from the overlaying of the strips. Different process, but it still retained that same type of graphic vocabulary that the vinyl paintings had.
These two artists complimented each other well. Their styles were different, almost opposite, and yet they both felt like graffiti. Andy St. Martin’s paintings made me think of Nathan Green. Overall this show conjured up older Eric Gibbons paintings and Nina Rizzo’s work. There was the suggestion of playing with the placement of elements and subtly evoking familiar images. Yet there was a commitment to the graphic language that I identified as graffiti. That combination made the show more sophisticated than your usual graffiti/ rock art in the gallery, but also kept it from graduating into a full-fledged formal investigation.
I was convinced both times I visited that this show was NOT BAD. But recalling the show makes me question that rating and again my whole rating system. Thinking about the use of color and composition, I want to give a better rating. But I will follow my gut reaction as I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as other higher rated shows I’ve seen. This was a very high ranking NOT BAD.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.