Sunday, March 05, 2006

Reeder Bros. + Needles & Pens

The Scott and Tyson Reeder show at Jack Hanley was entertaining, and more. In one gallery, Scott Reeder created a playspace that included a tall zig-zag sculpture made of two-by-fours painted in rainbow colors, doodly drawings, and several works created by affixing colored (chewed) gum to paper. The gum colors are surprising. There is also a naked light fixture jutting out of a wall, with a bulb that keeps changing color. My guess is that this is a novelty version of an LED bulb. Is it Duchampian (a ready-made)? Is it a riff on Dan Flavin? No, it's just fun.

In the neighboring space, Tyson Reeder has paintings (mostly on paper) that were a pleasure to see. He has a gift for orchestrating color. Close up, the works decompose into patchwork: areas of color pencil, squiggly lines made with pencil and pen, washes and accents of paint of various types (including glitter), and maybe other media. Stand back, and the works come together in a way that's a bit alchemical. There's a painting of a poodle in the rain in which you may see the colors before you see the poodle. There's one called “Bog” that looks a bit like a piece by Hernan Bas, but without teenaged boys in the scene. And my favorite, “The Graduate,” shows a guy with a bedroll on his back, his face invisible behind ski wear (apparently), wearing some sort of tunic, and giving a gloved finger to you, the viewer. He is standing in a landscape and seems to be heading into a storm. It's a striking work that shows a bravura use of color. (An afterthought: the low-grade framing of Tyson's paper works did not do them justice.)

While waiting for the Reeder show to be ready (the Hanley Gallery is a down-to-the-wire place), I walked over to Needles and Pens to catch the last day of their backroom show. Some intriguing small drawings by Julianna Bright were my reward.

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