Saturday, April 08, 2006

Brooklyn Comes to Dogpatch

Friday night, before heading to SF Ballet, I stopped by Ampersand to see the new show, curated by Patricia Maloney. Seven young Brooklyn artists are featured. Despite the crowd at the reception, several works captured my attention. Larry Bamburg did an installation, entitled “2 Deer Down,” that must be seen in person, as it eludes photography. The focal points are small cut-out images of two deer lying on an expanse of linoleum tile (detail above). One of these quivers as if dying, and the other appears to be recently dead, with flies swarming around. The illusion is magical yet unnerving. The effects are engineered by cheap, visible stage machinery that includes a fan, a vibrating rod, and strands of monofilament.

Dana Frankfort, who paintings are getting noticed in New York, offers several of her word-based abstractions. I was amused by the “No” painting (photo above), in which resistance seems to be surfacing into the very act of painting.

A compelling sculpture by Mai Braun shows a human figure, fashioned from shredded newsprint, crouching over a mirrored surface, like Narcissus looking into the pool (photo above). The figure seems to have disintegrated and mutated. The title is “Your Emotions Make You a Monster.”

Finally, Olen Hsu created an installation, mostly out of paper, cardboard, and paint, whose dominant elements are amplifying horns—the size you see on ships (photo above). A string quartet written by Hsu plays through these, faintly.

It’s a show worth seeing.

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