Reaction to last night’s short, select exhibition-seeing
Jonah Criswell, The Problem, oil on paper, 11″x13″, 2011
Image: courtesy of the artist via curator Andrew Lyles; may not be reproduced without permission
Thanks to Alison, someone I know from her writing when I was at the magazine and from her role with a local gallery, I took up the prompt to download my impressions from the three exhibitions I visited last night. Read her thoughts at The Junk Revival; we went to two of the same shows, and I saw two others she didn’t, and vice versa.
For me and my mate, it was west Crossroads only—and only the block of 18th and Wyandotte.
We went out early, as in 5 o’clock. Just off work, we Started at Spray Booth Gallery and had the luxury of being able to see every single piece (118) unobstructed and up close. The manipulated photocollage motif, as well as the rough, color-block abstract painting-type seemed to be repeated in a number of works. There were amid too many pieces overall to say that such styles dominated, of course, but I know they represent a trend to which I can’t articulate any critical response: I do not see beauty, and sometimes I don’t even see craft; I see Idea. I need more discussions with artists—or for you to point me to some articles/new books.
I do “get” the idea of sculptural installations made of pieced-together bits, I think—I enjoy the voice of cheer I feel in them and in their careful assembly: Cory Imig‘s yellow balloon taped to the wall under stripes of blue, Christina D. Prestidge‘s presentation of a little one of her acrylic, mylar, and monofilament creations, Matt Jacob‘s Spectrum of the rainbow’s colors put together as a prisim wedge with the open end a masonry of white Tic Tac candies.
The 2D items I wished to purchase fall outside my current budget (Lee Piechocki, Caleb Taylor,Paul Anthony Smith, Waseem Touma, Gabrieila Castanedo, Nicholas Naughton, Ryan Haralson), and even Julia Icicle’s crisp charming print, Time Flies like a Banana, at a mere $100, is beyond what I can afford at this time. To be honest, for a lot of us, employment these past four years has been rough!
That’s a shame, though, because Andrew Lyles does a great job with that space—in the back of a bicycle shop—and I want him to be able to continue curating there. Maybe I can let the Visa bill linger a tiny bit longer to ensure he gets some money from me? I’m sure Julia wouldn’t mind the receipt either. Kansas City artists have a well-worn refrain that selling here is difficult.
The list of “faves” above is not complete, please note, and even as I continue, it won’t be: with 118 things to see, a great many of them deserve a critique.
Jonah Criswell‘s The Problem, pictured above, for example, was not for sale, but we were quite drawn to it. Julia Cole‘s attractive sculptural triptych All, Nothing, which is also a DIY instructional for carrying out a wish-making ritual, was likewise unpriced but drew me to covet it. The reason might have been the comforting framed presentation of the Job’s Tears (coixseed), under glass and with what appeared to be embroidery. Textiles apparently attract me. (I sure could use a wish-come-true, too.)
Textiles: Until I had read through the whole exhibition list, it didn’t occur to me that the low, footed ottoman in the middle of the floor was a work of art and not a mere “This is a French salon” prop. Of course it would be made by Ayla Rexroth, an artist and curator whose practice is built around hosting a gallery in her own living space, where works of visual art are “couched” amid furniture and the other quotidian elements of domestic life. And, it would be upholstered in a pleasing light blue fabric that made me fall in love: Alya always wears the most tasteful and put-together outfits. As long as it sounds like I’m gushing, I’ll take a plunge further and mention that it’s time to get tickets to the Subterranean Gallery‘s Hot Tub Dialogues series; the first installment is February 11, but it and the February 25th one are already sold out: your only chance is for February 18.
(full read about Reaction to last night’s short, select exhibition-seeing by Tracy Abeln.) http://saneditor.blogspot.com/2012/02/following-first-friday.html