I've heard Jimmy Jalapeeno's name around town and the state, but never actually seen any work. So I go in with eyes wide open. The portable wall that usually sits in the middle of the gallery is situated so that it is an intermediary back wall. The works sit in a semi-circle facing the entrance.
I begin to the right and move counter-clockwise. They are landscape oil paintings about 4' by 8'. Each one is painted pseudo-impressionistic. That is, each leaf is a single brush dab but there is no optical illusion or play of color. In fact, other elements are painted differently. Tree trunks and rock formations have longer strokes, the sky is painted flat, and each has somewhat of an inky consistency and application. I would guess alot of small, soft bristle action was happening. And the color of the leaves tend to stay within a range. There is some manipulation in a few of the canvases, with green and yellow in front and pthalo green and blue in the back, but overall the leaves are green.
Stepping into the gallery and seeing the work for the first time, I could see that the imagery was a collage of various landscapes. Hana Hillerova's concurrent show at Women and Their Work immediately came to mind. Differing perspectives, odd color shifts and areas defined by a shaped outline gave these paintings its collaged look. It appeared that photographs of different landscapes were cutout into a satisfactory composition and then painted on a canvas. There were three drawings included in the show. Two were charcoal and the third was ink. The drawings used hatchmarks that made them look like the paintings. In the ink drawing and one of the charcoals, the line work was busy and the collage effect was disguised. But in the charcoal hanging above the ink drawing, some layering effect was still visible. In this particular piece, the process coalesced with the markmaking and was strenghtened by the imagery. The unsuspecting placement of the car and the ominous presence of the cacti made the drawing feel like Texas. And the lines were beginning to gel into a Robert Dale Anderson drawing.
In the back portion of the gallery, a niche created by the portable wall held a small variety of works. I recognized the work of Lance Letscher and Melissa Miller. After looking them up, I knew the names of Sydney Yeager, Jill Bedgood and Marjorie Moore. There were about half a dozen more artists presented. I'm assuming that this was used as a preview of the stable for the Blanton weekend bonanza. How's everyone doing, by the way?
After visiting opening night, I thought the show was BAD. There just wasn't enough risk in the work to consider as exciting. Upon revisiting, I considered that perhaps this was a mature artist just getting acquainted with Photoshop. That would count as exploration and experimentation. I overheard Mr. Berman verifying that Photoshop was indeed beginning to be used in the process. With that in mind I want to say it is NOT BAD, but I just can't justify it. My gut says BAD.
I'll tell you 'bout what I sees.