Perambulating the Bounds

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More yearend recapping

I did a year-end piece for the Scene and found myself gravitating towards things that I didn’t actually review in the paper. The piece in this week’s paper ended up with a mix of stuff I did and did not review, but at one point I set myself up to see what I would come up with if I did 10 items that I hadn’t reviewed. Here’s the other five that didn’t make it into the article this week.

  • Clear Box Project, Ruby Green. For a fundraising auction, the gallery got a really impressive group of local and out of town artists to contribute pieces, all of which somehow used a clear acrylic box. In some cases it was just a case for a work, but a lot of the pieces were pretty interesting. A bunch used it as the setting for a diorama, which worked great for say Emily Holt, who is going for something like that in many of her pieces all the time. Andrew Kaufman used the box in a completely integrated way for a quasi-electrical apparatus—it seems a natural material for him. Terry Glispin might have gone the furthest, embedding the box in a bunch of colored foam. showed what could be done in and with a clear acrylic box. For many, the format revealed new dimensions of their work. I hope they do this auction again next year. It’s the kind of thing that could catch on if they can give it some time to build.
  • Valerie Lueth and Paul Roden, TAG. Two printmakers (husband and wife) new to town and to TAG—Lueth makes finely detailed, vaguely obsessive etchings and Roden does accomplished woodcuts with political themes.
  • Hamlett Dobbins, Frist. I reviewed some of Hamlett’s work at Zeitgeist, although I don’t think I’m doing justice to his stuff. He also had an exhibit this Spring in the Frist project gallery (check the Early Morning series here). The best thing about that is that they were running their show of African art from Seattle at the same time, and the patterns and some of the colors in Dobbins’ paintings have a surprising resemblance to the geometric forms of African textiles like some of those in the exhibit. The coding of Ashanti cloth tells you something about Hamlett’s patterns, which usually have associations with people but the average viewer can’t really make it out – like a non-Ashanti viewer and those patterns in the Kente cloth.
  • Wes Sherman, Arts Company. Sherman is an abstract painter, but his method involves letting famous paintings lead him into his compositions. This exhibit set his pieces next to reproductions of the masterworks that inspires them, showing how he picks up colors or general massing and turns them into abstract forms. It was a great reminder of the value of abstraction as a kind of painting essentialism, and of the way a life of viewing seeps into every artist’s vision.
  • Cynthia Reynolds, Samantha Callahan, and Rusty Johnson, Dangenart. One of my favorite Dangenart shows included these three artists (although with the permutations of shows this year, they overlapped to different degrees. Reynolds made these exquisite sculptures of packing peanuts cast in metal or glass, set up on high small pedestals, and dramatically lit, taking the disposal stuff meant to protect precious contents and turning it into the precious stuff. Callahan took an old idea – flowers as symbols or tropes on female genitalia, and pushed it further by giving big colorful flowers genital piercings. That addition made the association undeniable and just a little more fleshy and sexual. Johnson’s paintings have crusty surfaces made of odd materials like baking soda that change and even self-destruct over time. Some of the paintings sluff off some of the surface, scattering particles on the ground below.


  • i think you are right on with the hamlett review, i thought the same thing when i saw the show but thought it was all the alcohol i had before going to the frist that made me think that.

    By Blogger dwayne, at 5:21 PM  

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