Friday, May 30, 2008

Swatches, Fragments, Paint (and a pillow)

This really excellent show closes tomorrow!

"For Partridges and Wine" 2008

It would be a shame to miss it.

"For Partridges and Wine" 2008 - detail

I am running so behind it seems with these posts lately. Manic May, I need a vacation to get some work done.

"When You Were Mine" acrylic, ink, fabric on canvas 2008

The show is "Torch Songs" at Saltworks Gallery. The paintings and installations of Brooklyn based artist Shinique Smith.

"When You Were Mine" detail

Smith treats pieces of fabric the same as the paint she merges with them, each playing off the other in gestural movements of graffiti-like linework (although Smith says the line work derives from eastern ink drawings, not graffiti) and bright colors. In "When You Were Mine" above, the cut denim and pen drawings are taken from a pair of Smith's jeans from high school, tagged by an ex-boyfriend. Smith reduces the old jeans to shapes and color, echoing the lines throughout the rest of the canvas, and yet the denim charges the painting with a deeper meaning, a sense of nostalgia and memory. Artifacts of Smith's history are spun into something larger, an abstracted timeline of Smith's own emotional connections but can just as easily be appreciated for the formal qualities of the abstract expressionism.

"Strong Enough" 2008

"Strong Enough" 2008 - detail

Smith also uses shredded magazine pages collaged into the work, kind of like this guy except completely different.

"Red Fairy" 2008

Things were taken up a notch with the installation "My Heart in my Hand"

A Washington Post article had this great snippet:

"Her art has come to be about how busy we all are with feathering our nests as thickly as we can. "I think a lot about the urban habitat as nature," she says. If her cloth bundles often look like something from a homeless person's perch in a bus shelter, that's not because she has borrowed them direct from there. (That would be "vulgar and disgusting," she says.) It's because we're all hopeless accumulators, and the homeless simply take that instinct to what Smith terms its "Sisyphean" extreme. "
Though the entire article is worth the read (and there's a slide show).

Kermit has a couple of surprise appearances in the show.

Dice. Can't help but be reminded of Michi and the recurring black tar paint like charred waste.

"There Were Sunday Mornings" 2008

Granted I have an attraction to large swaths of fabric, especially plumes of yellow pouring off a canvas, like the shredded and burned remnants of prom night and your mom's old night gown, but I think this piece is excellent.

"There Were Sunday Mornings" 2008 - detail

Go see it, T-minus 24. Saltworks Gallery.

1 comment:

Cinque said...

I'm glad you posted the photos and review for this. I was never able to squeeze this show into the schedule. So much great art in the city...