Sunday, September 11, 2005

Art (Finally!)

Okay, I'm cutting myself off from ranting about Katrina here, unless it's art related. Enough.

While it may not seem like it from my recent posts, I have left the computer and tv screen and seen a bit of art in the last week. It's always difficult to get a good look at art at the opening, so I hope I have a chance to revisit some of these shows. Here's an impressionistic rundown.

Last weekend the Dupont Circle openings were thin, due to the holiday.
  • Go Figure! at JET Artworks is an eclectic group show of figurative artists. The works I enjoyed most had a certain sense of fragmentation in common. Michael Tarbi's small, detailed drawings and Hunter Stamps' visceral sculptures use isolated pieces of anatomy in a psychological rather than clinical manner. The barely-there images in Lia Cook's exquisite black and white weavings recall pixellated photos, blurred newsprint, or faces emerging from smoke. In his DVD collage Screamtastic Justin Marshall assembles footage from slasher films of the 1970s and 80s to create a seamless, nearly wordless study of human gesture that shifts from creepy to downright funny and back in the blink of an eye. The characters in Amy Cutler's disjointed narratives wander through a world filled with jumbles of household goods, never as bewildered as they should be by their odd situation or the presence of the occasional crocodile.
  • Introductions at Irvine Contemporary Art was a group show of recent art school graduates. While diverse in media and focus this show was a let-down after the more engaging Go Figure!. Diana Al-Hadid's large gravity-defying sculpture was the only piece from the eight artists that caught my attention. None of the work from the recent graduates were as compelling as the Judy Pfaff print tucked in a remote corner of the gallery's back room. The show is now closed. I'm looking forward to the current show The Apollo Prophecies, which looks grandly strange.
I'll get to the shows I visited this weekend later.


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