A Quiet Moment, group show
Renowned Gallery, 811 E. Burnside St.
Something about the new, super-hype 800 block loves group shows. And frankly I love them back. This tiny block has such a sense of community and enthusiasm built around its artists it’s hard not to.
A Quiet Moment jumps genres a little bit, but on the whole these illustration-heavy artists belong quite solidly to the ambiguous storybook land of Marcel Dzama and Carson Ellis. The paper-cut, drawing colabs of Kelly McCarthy and Allison Cole are, dare I say, enchanting. McCarthy’s precise and muted drawing style mixed with Cole’s storybook cutout’s offer a sense of underlying danger mixed with oozing cuteness. Cole’s cutouts alone are almost too cute, although right at home in an early ’80s childhood, while McCarthy’s solo drawings are dynamic and clean, but unfortunately of birds, which I simply cannot abide by.
More than any artist here, Matt Haber owes a nod to Dzama, in composition at least. His busy figures, occupying muted space, are a definite descendent of everybody’s favorite Winnipegian painter, but Haber’s vintage figures are a far cry from the fable-like creeps of Dzama’s world. Which is great. The consistent and anonymous look of Haber’s women, mixed with his hyper-enthusiastic palette and psychedelic situations, are striking in their cleanliness and movement.
Josh Cochran’s hectic silk screens are above and beyond my favorite of the show. They’re busy and weighty, with an overarching sense of play. Even his more chaotic pieces, with their swirling dynamic movement, have a sense of hopefulness to them, but the free-floating band members scream with enthusiasm. His impressive use of vintage papers adds a sense of nostalgia and mystery, something equally apparent in the muted, although extremely popular these days, palette of Kelly Lynn Jones, whose surreal renditions of vintage photos are interesting if occasionally a little contrived. Her strongest moments are in her use of negative space and foliage, but conceptually these works belong to her figures that, by stepping out of eras, really drive home the creepiness of her ideas.
Spring Collection, Horia Boboia and New Works, Guy Martelet
Chambers Gallery, 207 S.W. Pine St.
Opening Thursday, May 18, 5:30 ?” 8:30 p.m.
Horia Boboia’s Spring Collection reminds me more than a little of Stella McCartney’s seasonal outing. All wrong. Only where McCartney offers bad “big ’90s” prints and awkward silky jumpsuits, Boboia offers an eerie parade of historical, literary and conceptual figures in their most revealing outfits. From Terrorist to Picasso to Hope, Boboia investigates his subjects down to the bone, with more than a nod to those post-World War I disillusionists. Guy Martelet’s mixed media (Gouache mostly?) pieces are more straightforward members of the surrealist camp, a place where time and space are temporarily suspended. Martelet, however, avoids falling into the regeneration trap by adding a sense of pastoral naturalism to his work. While still steeped in a tradition 80-plus years old, Martelet manifests a little Audubon and Wyeth with each dissected dream.