December Juried Show, State of the Art Gallery, Runs through December 30
To get spun is to get real, in an art gallery that is. If you’re left walking out of an exhibit with even a smidgen of concussion, you’ve certainly experienced something of quality. Whether the quality of that artwork is quantifiable, or even comparable to something else, is first and foremost, not fundamental to the experience: what matters is what you grasp in that moment. Even though there are infinite levels in which one can observe and interpret creative substance, the direct and initial apprehension is first and foremost the seed of quantifiable necessity. State of the Art Gallery offers some muzzy and bold viewing in its “December Juried Show”. Get dizzy and inspired with some excellent artwork.
Carol Spence’s two paintings, Letters and Memories are a sort of nexus where Gustav Klimt meets Brian Bolard (circa Killing Joke era), in the middle of a Degas workshop. The portraits are thick, filled with silky renaissance shade and an over-reaching comic book mind. Jasper Johns-ish stenciled alphabets fill in the background of both pieces and together the works reach a nice whole environment: complete and unpretentious.
Two botany illustrations by Milly Acharya are colloquial and decorative, intensely illustrated and morbid, not unfamiliar from the drawings in human anatomy textbooks. There’s honor, pride, and uniqueness in these two pieces, a glowing sense of reality and presence.
Lee Sims’ Sienna Man is one of the top juried works (evidenced by its brownish star), and succeeds as a genuine expression of thought. Sketched in a sort of scholarly flow, the painting floats in a breezy wind, showcasing in quick sienna-colored flashes an artist in middle age — it’s perhaps a doctor, a self-portrait, or even a line cook — and the idea works: you delve into it because of its inviting nature, purposely created with the artist’s passive blotting and the piece’s non-sequential nature.
Gina Pfleegor’s neorealism inspired portrait The Look is certainly vivid—its shiny and bubbly substance folds inward like an old memory: hovering, printing, and lucid. This is one of top juried works as well, and certainly one of the more talked about pieces of the exhibit. Even stronger to its right are two abstract paintings by Barbara Pease. Copper Dreams is an inner spectrum of Francis Bacon and Salvador Dali-like meditation. Crimson Shadows hangs with humanoid blobs and World Cup dreams, differing and underground. Floating in sanguine colors the two works offer introspection, questions, ideas, and abstraction. Bold and challenging, these two works are some of the best.
Jay Hart’s two metal prints are economical and curious. The material of the works creates an illusion of comfort, tensing and peculiar. Near the Farthest North fashions a strange sort of hunger with its combination of malleable surface and milkshake atmosphere. On the Dry Edge of Tibet, like the former, is a topographical photographic image shaping curiosity with its reduction of realism. The focus here is on the imagination of the viewer, and even though it could be stated that all art supposes this notion, it’s only quality works that achieve the possibility of it—curiously, no brownish stars for these two works; or Pease’s.
Two graphite and ink drawings by Jen Lightfoot are perhaps the boldest of the show. Birds Ate My Face is deft and taut, roaming through fantasy and science in a sort of H.G. Giger quality. The graphic work is personal and honest in its sensibility and technique, offering a direct allowance of observation. Baphometh is a figure study with cult and philosophical notions. The artist here is contemplating the nature of the universe, offering their examinations and combinations. The skull of an intense animal sits at the head of striking nude.
Kari Krakow’s Bent is an acrylic abstract that charters a plethora of experimentation waves in its arrangement of medium. You “think” you see, you”think” you perceive and furthermore, you “believe” in the painting. When a viewer can make this sort of connection, the painting takes the appropriate mental space in a fourth-dimensional quadrant, the receiver invigorated and pulsed… Ready to be inspired. •