Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PostColonials Post Opening

The 18th of March followed a few days after the Ides and now we are into Spring.  Do yourself justice and put a spring in your step to view Postcolonials at Linda Matney Gallery.  You have until May to view stellar works by 9 different artists.  Aesthetics and works on par with its NYC Chelsea counter parts make this a "Don't Miss" exhibition (and don't all American Galleries strive to impart that feeling?).  The artists all have brought their "A" game and while they have come in peace, their art won't leave you without something to chew on or staring at your shoes.   The works are diverse in approach and subject matter but connect on a higher ground as suggested by the exhibitions title.

Brian Hitselberger's gouache and pigmented ink piece is dazzlingly frenetic with its obsessive mark making that fades as one steps back to soft pinks and purples washing away and relaxing you from the claustrophobic experience of close inspection, as one might recess from hunting for historical facts to appreciate history's stories.

Anthony Wislar's works are pasted and painted oils on paper which at first glance seem sloppy and effortless except for what must have been countless attempts to make the marks just so in a first attempt, the effort re-appearing in pastiche, collage, and palimpsest images to culminate in a manner like reliving moments until you perfect them in your mind; until you have just the right come-back or successful explanation of facts to make your point.

Judith McWillie's monumental piece "Winter Sky North" is a rapturous work of glow in the dark pigment upon a Navy Blue field at least twelve feet wide and tall.  As I think about the movements/migrations we've made on this earth, the different peoples looking at the same stars, and our foray into outer-space you can't help but be filled with wonder as a child might starring up at the stars glued to the ceiling casting off into sleep.  "Winter Sky North" both transports you into the cosmos and grounds you with its referential points of direction and cosmic compass wrapping you in its monumental stature.

Photo courtesy of Lee Matney

Jeremy Hughes who co-curated the exhibition with Paul Thomas, is showing paintings that are brightly colored and full of sloppy bombastic paint which is confident enough that one can forgive a laziness of detail.  Jeremy is a colorist at heart and it shows through in these works that exhibit a rainbow he has pulled out of his subconscious.

Zuzka Vaclavik's watercolors are mouthwatering and sensuous, begging to be looked upon and will colonize any ambitions you may have of collecting solid art work.  Passages of the pieces perform like a lover's selective eye, or a mirror in which youth recognizes its own passions introspectively.

Hope Hilton's pieces are calm studies of plant life that may be found around the Williamsburg area from which her ancestors hail.  Each print has been given loving attention to detail with quirky heartfelt line work.  You would not find depictions like these in a field manual but perhaps in a personal manual of someone close to the land with an understanding of the plants personalities.  They exude a patience that you would expect someone to cultivate over years of practice.  If you make it out to the show you will want to purchase these works for your reading area or study.

Zachary Herrmann's glass pieces remind me of ice sculptures but with out the coldness and leaving you only with the mystery and sparkle of a winter night.  Illuminated from the bottom the pieces seem like single malt scotch in a crystal glass through which you might stare at a fire and think.  I never have done that, but it seems like something George Clooney would do and I imagine he enjoys it as I do those pieces.  Herrmann has provided us with severed fish and human heads, that pulled my brain in the direction of Greek mythology, the works of a Medusa turning flesh to clear glass and stopping it up with wax as a bottler of fine spirits might seal his best brew.

Teddy Johnson's works depict urban landscapes with figures balancing or finding balance on top of high and low rooftops.  The quality of the paint is reminiscent of a Hopper city-scape but the figures are playful as they seek balance; the city full of possibilities and habitable unlike the psychology of Edward Hopper.  The buildings and streets in Teddy's paintings are alive with color and paint strokes that emphasize a playground for its inhabitants.  His paintings are filled with a lust for life and we just hope no-one gets hurt on the monkey-bars.

Tyrus Lytton's work. . . wait, isn't that me? Ahem. . .  Tyrus Lytton's work is brooding and mysterious.  His images are appropriated from thrillers and mysteries of television and film that seem searching as they play with late night broadcasts and shared experiences to express difficult emotions extrapolated from B-movies and base entertainment that one might take for their own interpretation.

Having the opening weekend done and finished, I was/am more than thrilled to exhibit with these artists in such a nice space.  We had a good turn out for opening night and expect more people through out the next month and a half.  Paul and Jeremy did a fine job with the exhibition and the Linda Matney Gallery has much to promise in the future as a leading contemporary gallery in its area.

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