Almost everything in the gallery is new. There is a whimsical air to the autumn show: the kitschy, captivating flicker of the false candles on Jimmy Descant’s mixed media sculptures; the carnival theme of Notley Hawkins’ photos; the primary colors and child-like energy of Carlos Michael Finn’s abstract oil paintings.
Even the PS: hallery exhibit is in on the fun. The Art for Autism exhibit benefits Friends of the Thompson Center, which provides financial, emotional, and educational support to families coping with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The cause is serious and worthy, but the art is celebratory–a riot of rainbow colors that testifies to the creativity of adults and children living with ASD.
And there is new jewelry, including a collection from Casey Sheppard that can only be described as prehistoric-meets-industrial. Silver and copper grommets and wire embellish worn-down PVC, which bears a striking resemblance to bone. (You will have the opportunity to talk with her about her work during her trunk show this Friday, October 7, 6-9 pm, as part of Artrageous Weekend.)
In this show, there is never a dull moment. But there are calm moments—and I would like to direct your attention to them, because it would be a tragedy to miss their charms.
The first calm moment occurs when you first enter the gallery. You are greeted by Chris Dahlquist’s “Terra Nullius” (No-man’s-land) collection, which looks like pared-down landscape paintings unified by a hazy blue pallet. They seem simple enough, but if you give them a minute, they will haunt you. Upon closer inspection, you will notice their depth and sheen. If you get close enough, you will realize they aren’t paintings at all, but photographs printed on silver-painted steel. They will suck you in if you let them.
The second calm moment comes courtesy of Joel Sager. After his misty tree-scapes in the spring, and his graphite and watercolor portraits in the summer, his autumn collection is a return to his signature oil paintings, incorporating tar-collaged wallpaper, featuring stylized domestic objects. This series is remarkable for its depth, as well as the complexity and tailoring of the wallpaper elements. It evidences his ripening nostalgia, and general maturity. It’s also just plain pleasant to behold.
I have already developed an obsession with his “Welzschmetz,” a 36”x48” depiction of a metal pail on a ladder, set against patterned, robin’s egg blue wallpaper. It doesn’t sound compelling, but there is something about it… Is it the fresh pallet, the triangular composition, the large scale? Yes. Here it is, really little. But, trust me, you want to see it in person:
I hope you are sufficiently tantalized to share our creative bounty this weekend. Casey Sheppard’s trunk show is Friday, 6-9, and the opening reception for the autumn exhibit is Saturday, 6-9. Come sip, nosh, and swoon.