In June I went to "Against the Grain" at LACE, curated by Christopher Russell.
The show features Tom Allen, Brian Bress, Robert Fontenot, Wendell Gladstone, Matt Greene, Julian Hoeber, Brian Kennon, John Knuth, Amy Sarkisian, Ryan Taber, Ami Tallman, Kelly Sears, Anna Sew Hoy and Cheyenne Weaver.
Christopher gave me one of the best hugs I have received in a long time - a real firm bear hug. Aaawww.
I first became familiar with Russell's own work around late 05 at Skylight Books, my neighborhood book store. I was like - what is this art book about Pee-ing??!!
Later I went to a panel discussion on art books at LACE where he spoke...and in fact, Paige Wery was there too. We both bought a Russell "Bedwetter" piece:
It was sealed when we bought it, and when I opened it up I just laughed for days, because it was the weirdest thing that I had ever purchased. There's more to the relationship that has transpired between now and then,
but back to His show...
It is installed beautifully and the work really flows visually from piece to piece to piece and room to room. The religious references are evident in most, as well as the social implications of such beliefs, apocalypse, icons and retro societal practices associated with communication in conjunction with behaviors...perhaps even sin.
Here are highlights of some of my favorites + tidbits of conversation that transpired:
Christopher Russell promotes the artist of these animal paintings below as one of his favorites. Her name is Ami Tallman. Her creatures of nature innocent were colorfully arranged salon style as if flying around. A nice scatter that led into the other room of darker works.
In the same room were the very exciting paintings of Wendell Gladstone. I can never look away from something that involves a ludicrously necessary amount of taping, cutting, painting and the like. (detail here:)
I also am a huge sucker for color, the use of a whole ton of it and successfully.
At the moment he has a piece in a show at Riverside Museum which opens Saturday the 26th. That piece really fits the premise of this show, but perhaps it was not available to Christopher for the LACE show.
John Knuth, owner of Circus Gallery, "I love urban decay". His installation of found objects from the '60s:
Included was a petrified, as in dead and rigid, rat on salt in the corner.
Brian Bress, "Oh, you have a blog, right?" [aside; He recently curated a show at Angstrom, which I saw but didn't take pics. I ran into fette, and you can see pics on her site.]
These soft sculpture dominated from the side of the room, sort of listening to everyone gossip or go on about themselves and the work. Brian & Christopher told me that he is doing a stop animation video with an original score and I am looking forward to seeing that in the future.
We were all guilty of pretentious art opening banter, and for this I am sure we will all pay dearly in the afterlife...if we aren't beheaded or burned at the stake by these guys first.
This show ends on August 10th - so go check it out.