I recently ran into Dan Sabau‘s haunting and ethereal abstract-figurative watercolors at YES Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I was immediately drawn to the dashing bright colors and the flow of lines that maintained a definitive form despite allusive strokes of paint. Faces and figures are distraught and aloof, some hidden and others morphed into voluptuous loops. There’s a confounding element of ghastly transparency and confrontational forwardness that makes them disturbing and addictive.
I found Tadashi Moriyama‘s work during Bushwick Open Studios this past June and fell in love with the intricacy and obsessive mark making process that is evident in each ink and gouache work. Each painting is rife with apocalyptic imagery rendered in countless repetitions of a few motifs including waffle-like gridded squares forming architectural structures and tubular wobbly connectors slithering in and out of buildings and bodily orifices.
This past Saturday was the opening of the India Street Mural Project in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I helped organize the project taking on duties such as running the blog, printing business cards, and flipping burgers. Best part of the gig was getting to witness six artists progress from painting a blank white wall into massive and beautifully crafted murals. Artist Chris Soria‘s contribution to the project is titled Antiquated Giant, which overlaps images of a local burned down building and the skeleton of an ancient sea turtle. The resulting image is surreal, its layered illusions rife with both jagged and organic movements.
Untitled or The Boulevard, Bedroom 1 Corner 2, 5.11pm, Friday 1 June 2007
Zander Blom creates photographs derived from constructed paper installed throughout his London studio recalling Modernist abstraction as demonstrated by Mondrian and Schwitters. The crisp and jagged explosions of shape and color cascade along the nooks and crevices of corners and in-between spaces of ceiling and walls, creating disorienting movement and illusion.
Sarah Moli Newton Applebaum (what a name!) creates meta-knitted sculptural installations that emphasize an overwhelming array color patterns using mostly knitted fabric and blankets. These bursting animated forms engulf and transform a space into a heavenly spectrum and in their geometric abstraction suggest a homey environment that you would only find in happy induced dreams. The costumes are inventive, creating imaginative and quirky characters that seem innocent enough to cuddle with but with a guarded stance that can be quite intimidating.
Subrosa, 2008, 48 x 48", acrylic on canvas, images via Sloan Fine Art
Back in January I walked into Sloane Fine Art and found wallpaper-esque paintings that were floral, decorative, rich in color, and do I dare say, pretty. I roamed the gallery admiring the intricacy of the patterns and its hand crafted details. I then discovered each painting had layers with one design overlapping another in drip-like shapes as if one flower pattern was splattered atop and its remains slithered across the picture plane. It doesn’t end there.
Untitled (Tower), 2009, paper, ink & acrylic with cut wall, 3' dia x 10" deep, all images via Jane South
Jane South‘s architectural paper constructions has had a firm place in my heart since I encountered her show at Whitney Altria a few years back. I was drawn to the hand cut and crafted composition, the obsessive repetition, and the illusionistic moire patterns that make up these layered industrial constructions. In a recent show at Spencer Brownstone one monumental free standing sculpture greets us with a dizzingly array of perspective, giving the viewer freedom to enter its inside and marvel at its surprising silence and delicacy.
The Loaded Woman 2009, acrylic on linen, 76 x 65 images via LaViolaBank Gallery
The works of Helle Mardahl vary in medium with paintings, sculpture and collaged photographs addressing human fallacies and inventive absurdities. The artist’s background in fashion is demonstrated by the precise coordination and arrangement of shape and color embodying the figures. They don exaggerated features and contorted body parts and are masked to the point of sheer spectacle and wonderment. The artist’s interest in bedazzlement and burdened woe is a convincing combination of Rembrandt’s hobo drawings and Nick Cave’s soundsuits.