Lasers In The Jungle – Art Palace
Wrote a capsule for Glasstire. Because of private matters, I was allowed to turn it in late, so it wasn’t up very long. This is what it said:
Somebody made sure Eric Gibbons and Nathan Green were ready for the start of the new school year. Their bundle of Crayola® products created a very bright show at Art Palace.
It’s tempting to describe Nathan Green’s work as a mix between kid art and street art. The physicality of those genres grounds the paintings. Crooked, kindergarten cutouts of basic shapes with large swatches and precision splatters of paint suggest various landscapes in a layered urban aesthetic. Crayon etching, spray paint and marker stripes create diamond compositions and disrupt dimension into chaotic fantasy. The gentleness of the pinks, purples and the cartoony flowers caress the images into optimistic stories.
Eric Gibbons puffs a more breezy vision. The same materials are present, but they channel a different character. The paint is thinly applied and the stripes and triangles vibrate like auras. The washy colors and dreamy placement of elements give them a Francesco Clemente feel. Following traditional portrait composition, Paul Simon and Yoko Ono look religious as halos surround their heads and the pervasive peace-sign gestures bestow blessings.
Gibbons’ metaphysical portraits and Green’s dense landscapes complement each other well. Not because they share the same crayon box, but their use of jovial lightness to battle an abysmal darkness hoping for a happily ever after.
I thought the two went well together. It pleasantly surprised me. GOOD
Self Portrait Show – Austin Figurative Gallery
The guidelines for this show were fairly narrow. The work exhibited showed no deviation. I wanna make sure you understand me here. I enjoy the fact that AFG has created a community of artists that can meet up and booster each other along. I don’t expect them to be, or become, something that they are not. With that being said, the shows at AFG have little opportunity to dazzle me. Most of the work looks the same besides the telling markmaking of different artists. I like the actual practice of figure drawing/painting, but I do prefer more variety and stimulation. BAD
Angie Renfro – Wally Workman
Self Portrait Show (photography) – Austin Figurative Gallery
Faith Gay – dBerman Gallery
How’s that credo go? “Take an object, do something to it. Think about it, do something else to it.” (If you can help me find who said that, would be appreciated). This show felt like it only went halfway. I’m thinking the plastic toys specifically. The arrowhead paintings just looked designy. BAD
¡Viva Las Manitas! – La Pena/ Las Manitas
Texas Prize 2007 – Arthouse
It was mostly installations, but it still looked more object based than 2005. The artists seemed to represent their identity factions. Mr. Anderson was the Black artist, Ms. Cabrera the Hispanic artist, Mr. Boyd the young American, Mr. Davenport the white male in Texas and Ms. Moorhead the global citizen. Very safe and conservative choices in that respect. Not that they weren’t deserving, that’s just what jumped out at me. It would’ve tickled me pink had Ms. Cabrera been awarded the prize. She was the one who switched up her modus operandi for the show. Big cojones if you ask me. But I wasn’t disappointed with Ms. Moorhead taking the belt buckle (then losing it… I still think its funny). GOOD
Long-Distance Relationship – Bolm Studios
This painting correspondence was a little confusing. Ms. Phillips [and Mr. Sanford]
was painting painted the photos as the two artists had agreed. But Mr. Sanford was using commercial printing techniques via oil paint glazing via Photoshop color channels. I know having solo shows can be scary, but there was enough content if not enough paintings by Sanford. The correspondence thing complicated the show in an unnecessary way and it makes me want to ignore Phillips paintings. The image choice was also odd. I think a stronger relationship between image and technique might have helped focus the show. NOT BAD
The Total Power of Such a Signal is Infinite – Okay Mountain
I also wrote a Glasstire capsule for this. I turned it in late, so it wasn’t up very long. This is what it said:
First impressions are lasting and difficult to forget. Not to be crude, but the large brown objects have the color, shape and textural constitution of giant dookie balls.
Each artist employs cartoon elements to create fantasy worlds. Kristin Luke’s sculptures have the most presence in the gallery. The wooden objects and architectural suggestions can be construed as a frontier setting. Yet the bright paint evokes Sesame Street or other theatrical props. Mark Mulroney’s painting has an orgy of ingredients. Within the mix, the cottages and mountainside appear as they might in the background of an old Looney Tunes cartoon. Hiding in the back gallery, Casey Jex Smith has a piece unlike the rest of his work. Cutout figures from Sunday School workbooks are randomly arranged on the wall.
Save for “Fervor”, Smith joins in creating surreal environs digesting images from various sources. Entities emerge as organic swirls or geometrical jumbles. Madeleine L’Engle’s tesseracts and “The Last Mimzy” reveal themselves in those entities as well as relating to formal elements in the other works around the gallery.
Too many doors are left open and what you can smell isn’t so pleasant. They’re straining. Straining to synchronize, when they’re better off taking care of business on their own.
Even though I was curious ’bout Casey Jex Smith, I thought these three were an odd grouping. BAD
Jessie Pollak Photography – Austin Figurative Gallery
Didn’t see it.
Faculty Salon Exhibition – CRL
Wasn’t as salon style as last year. Don’t know how I feel ’bout these shows. There are pieces I like, but they’re not really exhibited in ideal shows. Yet I don’t really think the faculty shows should be “curated” per se. Or maybe they should? Points for education value. NOT BAD
OUT of NOTHING – 4 Walls Fine Art
Didn’t see it.
Albrecht Dürer: Prints – Blanton
Seeing all of the same proof was kinda lame. I guess it was for educating the masses ’bout printmaking. But they were Dürers, so that was cool. NOT BAD
Transactions – Blanton
Concept was awesome. Presentation was weak. Especially next to the razzle dazzle of Mike’s World. So the question was glaringly clear “How do you present artworks that intend to undermine or subvert the museum presentation. Surely something more elegant could have been conjured (so points off for that) NOT BAD
Mike’s World – Blanton
Bright light! Bright light! That was some entrance with an almost overwhelming amount of work in the gallery. I swear, my kids were running back and forth like it was their first time at Chuck E. Cheese! I really should’ve visited more than twice, to get down to the details, but I think I got some good overviews. GOOD
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.