Thursday, April 13, 2006

Miscellany of Recent Sightings

As previously noted, I was disappointed by the March auction show at The LAB, but as always there were a few good works, including a charcoal on canvas drawing of her own hair by Paz de la Calzada (photo at top) and Joseph Rizzo’s “Ape Mummy” drawing (photo just above), which was priced at only $50.

Last month’s show of Barbara Takenaga’s paintings at Gregory Lind Gallery left me wondering about the question of scale. Takenaga had been showing small paintings for awhile. In conversation she told me she had decided that, if she could make small paintings, she could make large paintings. But in my experience, a style of work developed at one scale can look unconvincing when applied on a much larger scale, unless changes are made that are more than scalar. Takenaga's size jumps appeared too linear. What was piquant on a small scale (like the images above, from the gallery website) became somewhat monotonous on a large scale. Maybe I just like my psychedelia in smaller doses.

Shirley Shor’s show at Gallery Paule Anglim (in March) included an engaging floor piece called “Terra Infirma” in which video was projected down onto a sand pile in a box, with computer-generated motions that slid over the undulations in the sand. (See photo above.)

There were also several of Shor's wall works. In one of them (photo above), a vertical slit seemed to open into a magic world of light and color beyond. The slit could be labial, or not. But all the wall works were undermined by their style of facture, smooth and commercial, making them resemble store displays before the logos are applied.

I tend to think of studio visits as outside the scope of this blog, partly because those are private spaces and also because the artwork is often unfinished. But I’ll make an exception and highlight one studio I visited during the CCA open house on April 9th. The artist, Scotty Enderle, offered a gallery-like presentation. As can be seen in the photo below, he has curved the corners of his studio, which opens up the space in a delightful way. One piece was a golden ladder that, alas, won’t take you anywhere (photo above). And a pair of drum cymbals was shown with a visualization of their vibrations (photo below). The entire space radiated imagination.

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