I am completely paranoid that people distrust and fear abstraction. In the Weatherspoon Art Museum this weekend, I went to look as the Eve Ascheim show and people just cruised through that gallery. I must remember that it is not my job to proselytize or carry the flag of a particular doctrine. If I start worrying about other people too much, my own work will never grow.
I'm just saying....talk about leaving room for the viewer! Her work was really inviting to me, that's why it's so surprising that everyone was zooming through. There was this surprising warmth in the paintings, or cleanliness without sterility. I felt relief in looking at this work, relief like some kind of mental stress or anxiety has just been removed. Like you woke up in a different (and better) room.
Kiki Smith is difficult for me, I won't lie. Several pieces in the room really challenged me while others fell completely flat. I should point out that these were prints. I think the pieces were the most interesting when they moved further away from more literal trappings of folk-tales and mythology, etc. The more the pieces move away from that, the more you can feel the presence of those myths.
If you're near the area, check it out.
Images, top to bottom: Eve Ascheim, Untitled and Convergence.
Kiki Smith, My Blue Lake.