December 27, 2008

John Andrews and Emil Lukas explore the real in San Francisco

In San Francisco Chronicle, Kenneth Baker reports that the complexity in Andrews' work lies in the viewer's encounter with it. "As sharply defined as each piece appears, its color fluctuates unpredictably with changing vantage points and time of day, none more lushly than the big rose-colored piece designated "08-14" (2008), a title, like all the rest, plainly intended to fend off extraneous associations. The ambiguous hues and physical crispness of Andrews' work tends to highlight the spacing and adjacency of his pieces in any given installation. They have been very sensitively handled here. It may seem to some viewers that Andrews' work offers nothing to look at. This is true in the sense that it puts nothing in the way of our attention to the process of seeing. Each piece reads as a quiet manifesto on behalf of reality's overlooked subtleties and our probably neglected capacity to discern them.

"For those who find Andrews' aesthetics a starvation diet, Hosfelt also offers a show of characteristically bizarre works by Emil Lukas. Many of them resemble softly colored paintings, but these white rectangles owe their color to Lukas having stretched across their vacant surfaces countless lengths of fine, colored thread. Black-and-white pieces such as "Clinging" (2008) have a far more bizarre material history. The tangle of attenuating black lines here was made not by Lukas' hand, but by fly larvae that he placed in a dollop of black medium. Taking their own paths out of it, they inscribed the pattern we see. Abstraction, narrative and surrealism in a single work." Read more.

"John Andrews: Reflections on Painting: Paintings on aluminum," Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Through Jan. 31.

"Emil Lukas: Titration: Mixed-media wall pieces," Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Through Jan. 31.

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