Monday, April 21, 2008

Devil May Hare

Up to the minute as ever, this show actually came down (got painted over?) this past weekend

Sarah Emerson and Jesse Cregar

Curated by Susannah Darrow, artists were invited to draw/paint directly onto the gallery walls of Eyedrum. A show like this could go one of two ways, artists could be selected to respond to the space and to the very process of drawing (in public, with other artists, under observation, through interaction) or, as with this show, artists were chosen to work independently, given the opportunity to explore working on a different format (a wall) and to react to the challenge of producing a large scale drawing within a limited time frame of 24 hours. It's the type of challenge that few public spaces afford artists and Eyedrum, with their devil may care attitude, is an ideal space for it.

Mario Schambor's use of the wall was reminiscent of cave paintings, swapping out line-drawn animals for stencils

And Maxwell Sebastian, supplying the hunters of the game, brought his drawing off the wall (reminiscent of a pop-up book) with cut outs of chainsaw toting hunters - one of which apparently went missing during the exhibition.

TindelMichi left their trademark style of graffiti and southern, turning the wall into a quilt/landscape patterning

And my favorite had to be Lydia Walls, though completely out of place between the neighboring murals, the composition had a clashing perspective of linear depth and flat planes of color, classical elements of a column, fabric banner, and chair relating to architecture (an awareness of the wall) while the stacked firewood and bunnies drowned in green light threw the piece into great confusion. I really hate to think of this piece getting painted over, but the impermanence of such a project is really the point, artists invited to flex their creative muscle, try a new challenge, approach process differently, without the weighty threat of permanence standing in the way.

(Revised 4/28/08) To better understand the mural by George Long I contacted him with a few questions and it turns out what I read as a paint ball gun attack on Middle Eastern anatomy illustrations was actually a piece about "mark making and discovery." Long plastered the walls of his space with a children's anatomy book (the child illustrated is Asian and the writing is Sanskrit and English) and then gave his four-year old son free reign to apply paint to the surface of drawings, including using a tennis ball dipped and paint and thrown (no guns were used). What was important to Long was "the processes of a four year old let loose - his anatomy being his main tool and something he is discovering"
Goes to show I don't know what I'm talking about on this blog half the time.

And now for something completely different....

"An Abstract With Three Pullopids" Pen and Ink on Bristol

In the back gallery of Eyedrum, Gerome Temple had a massive showing of three different series of work, under the title "Noveau Antiquity." His pen and ink drawings are insanely precise and detailed (see above). The drawings imagine a "world where antiquity meets crude but futuristic technology, an era that escaped history." Temple is "inspired by a lifetime fascination with natural history and antique bookplate etchings."

The drawings had a varied focus, from light hearted illustrations of impossible contraptions, being run by lemming-like people, to creepier insect like contraptions resulting from a study of Entomology and an obsession with joints and cables. Some of the more organic works reminded me of this show at Kiang, where Williams, working three-dimensionally, also re-imagined the microscopic and arthropods.

Also thrown into the mix (and mixing about as well as oil and water) were two massive carnival puppets which Temple apparently makes with his wife. The puppets were shocking enough to over shadow the more contemplative drawings and confused the overall purpose of the show, unless it was simply to outline all of Temple's many talents and interest.

The puppets were pretty fantastic though and could hold their own as a show in itself - a show incorporating some crazy performance art.

"Fast Back Five" Oil Enamel on Lenox 100. Twenty Eight layers.

And element three (this show honestly felt like three different shows crowded into one much too small room - the only thing missing here was a curator) were a series of oil enamel paintings on paper, in which Temple experiments with formal design elements and the idea of chance (did I read that somewhere or just make it up?)

"Wedge No. One" Oil enamel on Lenox 100. Twenty Two Layers

These works bring to mind casinos and Formula One racing, sleek blacks and reds, there ought to the hints of cigar smoke and melting tires wafting off the paper. I felt like Temple's strength of manipulating space within the composition and technical mastery of precise line work and surface were prominently represented in these works. I wish this series could have been shown independently. There needed to be more space between the pieces in the show and they may have benefited from being done on panel and not framed - the glare only took away from the slick enamel surface.

'Circle Creating Tension" Oil enamel on Lenox 100. Nine Layers

I'm not usually one drawn to abstract geometric work but this piece is incredibly strong in its simplicity.

"Drop No. Two" Oil enamel on Lenox 100. Nine Layers

This one too.

"Lodger" Oil enamel on Lenox 100. Nine layers.

Oh, and this one too. These are awesome.


Miss Darrow said...

The paint ball wall was actually doen by a four year old. That wall belonged to George Long and his son Sylas. For taht, George plastered the wall in anatomical drawings and then just supervised as Sylas went to town.

Fifth said...

What did you think of the projector on Eyedrum's outside wall?

the Trevor blog said...

Hey Man, I am so happy you posted Gerome, he is a child hood friend of mine. I love all he does. My favs are the bugs. Next time you are over I'll show you some of his early drawings.

Peace and Happiness,


P.S. all the geometric paintings are done free hand.