Friday, July 21, 2006

Reviews in Brief

Julie Pitman at Big Car Gallery North (Invoke Studio) 970 Fort Wayne Ave.

From Big Car's web site,
"Good, Bad, Indifferent: Reflecting on Life
An illustrated series studying character-building events beginning early in childhood. The artist looks at her relationship with food, sex, friends, bad haircuts and more with sets of watercolor paintings showing what happened, and either the immediate result or resonating impact it had in her life."

Over all I enjoyed the drawings in this show, always diptychs playing on similar themes and each accompanied by its own paragraph long narrative about the artists life and experiences in numerous situations. To be honest, after reading the first few paragraphs that belonged to each image, I gave up on the reading. Well, all except the titles of each narrative, which for me was enough in the context of a gallery show. There were a lot of images and way to much text for a single round of art viewing. At least for me. I am a slow reader. I did spy many people attempting to read as many as they could though and from what I did read they were interesting enough. The drawings each had a loose, comfortable feel and I think I would enjoy these pieces more in the confines of an illustrated book. Where I can sit down comfortably, flip through the pages, view the art and read the text. Yes, a book would be nice.

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Jason Zickler: "Grow", at the Stutz Art Gallery, 1005 N. Senate Ave.

This exhibition is of several new abstract paintings by artist Jason Zickler. In short, I think this show is much better than his previous exhibitionon. Many of the paintings feel more nuanced and complex, and have a hint of influence from artists like Jules Olitski and Larry Poons; both artists I am a fan of. The play of color, luminosity, surface, and movement seem to be more prevalent in this body of work.

I would love to see a handful of these pieces in a different context though. Often artists are interested in showing what all they have done over a period of time that they decide to exhibit all the work they have, which often makes for a crowded show. In such a show the weaker works end up hurting the great ones. I think this show suffers a bit from this. Fewer pieces and more severe editing as to what works should have been shown, could have made this work even more powerful. In all fairness, this does not fall onto the artist completely, but, the space as well. The Stutz proves once again to be one of the hardest spaces to exhibit a body of work. Does this make the Stutz space the worst in the city? Well, I would have to think about that more. Those zig-zag walls cutting through a print studio, hmmmm. I enjoy their mission and I like the fact they are willing to show art of all sorts but as far as the final product, the presentation, it always leaves something to be desired. Oh, and for the past couple months the Stutz has not had a web site up. I hope that they plan on getting it back.

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