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.
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 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.
Victor Timofeev literally fell into drawing a few years ago after a horrid skateboarding accident and began using art to pour out frustrations that were simmering inside. Since then he has developed an amazing vocabulary incorporating perspectival, architectural and geometric patterns that engulf a space with sharp precision and confounding visual illusions. Where his earlier work incorporated obsessive and repetitive text as the base for color and form, he now builds a platform where physical and architectural objects plunge into geometric abstraction and the two forces coerce into infinite and poetic narrative.
Tony Matelli’s hyper-real sculptures of meat and vegetable portraits, sprouting weeds, stacked cards, sleepwalking humans and malicious chimpanzees captures your attention with immediacy, a visual poignancy that would make it hard not to react with curiosity and amusement. This initial response opens the door to a slightly somber and disturbing environment where each series tackle concepts of death, resurrection, failure, pessimism, loss and reinvention. Matelli’s own personal concerns are projected onto these works buliding a relationship between object and artist that is further extended to the public.
Daniel Zeller’s practice involves meticulous and obsessive pattern making creating forms that resemble maps, isolated body parts, and blood streamed arteries. I’m drawn by the labor intensive repetition, its lingering between sci-fi staging and topographical landscape, and the undulating and vibrating ebb and flow of each compacted form. Step close to the surface and be astounded by the articulate and precise thin lines, step back and let your eyes adjust to the accumulated network of organisms pulsing throughout the picture plane.