The work of Stefanie Gutheil is a wonderful mess. Her current exhibit at the Mike Weiss gallery has the atmosphere of the precise moment a party becomes a riot. Gutheil’s paintings incorporate fleshy globs of oil and acrylic paint, fabric, glitter, hair, and fur. The seemingly turbid materials match the paintings’ libidinous subject matter. Even some of the paintings frames only seem to exist in order to be defied – cat’s tails, pants, hats all push past gilded frames and off the canvas. In what she portrays and how she portrays it, Gutheil’s work pinpoints a curious place precisely between fun and horror – the moment before the last finger loses its grip.
Elisa Johns has a new selection of oil paintings up at Mike Weiss Gallery. Within the exhibition, entitled “Huntress,” Johns draws from mythology, in particular the female goddess/heroine, for her subject matter. Her fragile, waifish women reference today’s “revered” paradigm of female beauty, the high fashion model, while her delicately dripping washes set within soft, sparse canvases call to mind the minimal compositions of Japanese scroll art. The exhibition will be on view until May 9th.