Weekend update: J came up from DC yesterday, so I took him out to see the new Two Coats HQ in Bushwick, then we stopped by a few neighborhood galleries.
At STOREFRONT Bushwick we caught the last day of Carol Salmanson’s show and saw Stephen Truax’s abstract paintings in the back room. Trained as a painter, Salmanson began incorporating light into her work eight years ago. Abstract, gestural, and small-scale, the pieces on display at Storefront are a departure from the immersive installations Salmanson has done in the past, suggesting a new, more intimate direction involving quirky combinations of old LED lights. I look forward to seeing where she takes it.
In the back room, Stephen Truax presents delicately colored abstract paintings whose geometric patterns are drawn from ancient Roman mosaics, decorative wall painting, quilt patterns, and textile design. Although the paintings look pretty, in a dense statement Truax suggests that the paintings explore whether “painting can be unselfconsciously meaningful in a contemporary context.” I’m not sure what he’s driving at here, but visually the work doesn’t seem convincing in terms of his intent–unless of course, the idea is to be self-conscious, and then I guess the work succeeds. I know Truax likes a good argument, so I look forward to the heated discussion this post will undoubtedly generate.
In a beautifully installed show (also the last day), Andrew Hurst presents a series of mysterious constructions and collages made of found objects and ephemeral materials. (Did Hurst, who, when he has his eyeliner on, looks sort of like a young Keith Richards, really model for a fashion magazine?)
Kristen Jensen “it’s no one’s fault” and two paintings by Katie Kehoe. Jensen arranges enigmatic objects fashioned from hand-mixed porcelain and sublime glazes on a low black pedestal that nearly fills the room. The lovingly-made objects look like specimens in a natural history museum, hinting at previous lives and past uses. In the side room, Kehoe presents monochromatic textural paintings, wrestling joint compound into compelling arrangements that recall barnacles and fragments of woven cloth. Go see this show: highly recommended.
And had I not blathered on about my own work at the very beginning of our outing, we would have had time to check out “Sculpture Garden,” curated by Lesley Heller and Deborah Brown at Onderdonk House, Charles Yuen‘s new paintings at Valentine (last day), and “Four Paintings” at Regina Rex, but J had to head back to DC. Oh well. There’s always next week.
View Sunday stroll: Bushwick and Ridgewood in a larger map
Weekend Film Pick: “Elena,” a brooding Russian film at the Film Forum that fuses Dostoevsky’s chilling despair with Hitchcock’s noir in post-soviet Moscow. The film is visually stunning, and Philip Glass wrote the soundtrack.
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