Oct 4, 2008

my first first Friday

The first couple of stops I made on Broad street left me wanting a little more...grit, I think you might call it. The work I mentioned in an earlier post, Rebecca Murtaugh's, turned out to be seductive, sure, but that is where the work remained for me. Her pieces were beautiful objects.

I really didn't feel 'at home' with any of the work I saw until I got to the Church of the Crystal Light. I wonder if this is just a superficial bias of mine- preferring a setting of informality to the polished veneer of the other galleries.


Interesting work is interesting work. The scattered wall piece, made up of what might be called visual and textual 'one-liners' became more than just 'one-liners'. How? I think it was in the volume and diversity of the blips and blurbs, the spontaneous, scrawling feel of the whole piece. Each addition was different than the last in content, in material, usually scale, etc. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that each 'statement' up there was done by a separate person. If that's not the case, damn....bravo. It was unpretentious and fresh, subtly aligning itself with politically minded sensibilty while simultaneously pointing out the ridiculous behavior of such people, or at least, their all encompassing statements.

Also included in that show were two wall paintings (Maya Hayuk) that were seductive in grittier way than the 1708 gallery. It's not that I have something against the meticulous or rigorously ordered as a rule- but like everything else, it's all about how those aspects are deployed. To put it simply, I thought Rebecca Murtaugh's works were closed to me while these wall paintings remained open.

The Transmission gallery offered me the best paintings of the night. It was immediately clear in viewing Alexis Semtner's work that the 'bar' of the whole evening had been raised, or at least, here's someone "really moving some paint around". Her work is such an interesting balance of control and release, surface and illusion. As a show, the inclusion of another installation by Maya Hayuk fit well just formally, tied as it was to a grid but not rigidly so. I guess it was also refreshing in hindsight to see work that looks at geometry in a non-purist light (both Hayuk and Semtner).

"Optical Illude this Biatch" by Alexis Semtner (rt)
"Teen Center" by Maya Hayuk (below)

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