Arts Coverage and Review

August 19, 2017

Let’s Hear From The Women!

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Shara Hughes “Far Out” at American Contemporary

Shara Hughes “Far Out” at American Contemporary thru April 26.

After two institutional solo exhibitions of dense lush paintings and complex compositions, Shara’s taken a step back to breath a little for her second NY solo show “Far Out” at American Contemporary.  Call it Shara unplugged, as the canvases are the most pared down that I’ve seen… emphasis on atmosphere and reflection, yet packed with her arsenal of painting techniques and ode to color.

According to the release…

Shara Hughes’ new paintings present layers of abstracted, actual and pictorial space, all in search of simplicity.

These clouded windows of ambiguous form, pattern, and texture are like vibrated, vibrant drawings, plied with multiple mediums. The direct intention instilled in each mark empowers these paintings with a sense of focused purpose, directness, yet they depict suggestions of open space, floating moons, flowing rivers, melting snow. The indirect and the slow burning. More. 

Clare Grill “Touch’d Lustre” at Zieher Smith & Horton

Clare Grill at Zieher Smith & Horton

Clare Grill at Zieher Smith & Horton

A few years ago, I took a mental note to keep an eye on Clare Grill’s (along with Tatiana Berg) abstractions at Garis & Hahn’s “New Casualists” show.  And, after an Art Forum-worthy show at Reserve Ames LA and a series of solo/group shows, Clare’s under-the-radar status crosses over to bigger opps like her most ambitious show to-date, ‘Touch’d Lustre” at Zieher Smith & Horton.

Here, Grill goes capital B-I-G with color field abstractions that either simmer with understated elegance or boil with high intensity.  What remains constant throughout the canvases are the intimate moments and painterly gestures that result in timeless longevity.

According to the release…

Not content to rely upon market gimmicks or trendy themes, Grill responds to tried and true materials; the nuances of a dry mixture of oil paint and the imperfect weave of the linen in which it is embedded. Subtle color and scale shifts, that have become her signature, emerge through a deft push and pull of the brush, smudge of the finger, or wipe of a rag. While her process allows for chance and discovery, Grill employs a careful needlepoint-like attention to small sections of developing works as they are laid horizontally on her studio table. More.

Clare Grill “Touch’d Lustre” at Zieher Smith & Horton through April 25. 

Trudy Benson “Shapes of Things” at Lisa Cooley

Trudy Benson at Lisa Cooley

Trudy Benson at Lisa Cooley

Trudy Bensen mounts her first solo show at Lisa Cooley Gallery with Pacquiao punchmanship!   Trudy’s grounded the canvases with linear lightness (even playful at times) juxtaposed by her signature paint application that online images can never do justice.  I remember Trudy’s show a few years back at the Horton Gallery walking back and forth 180 degrees and thinking to myself, “Boy, this gal has gusto…slicing and manipulating paint with such command!”

According to the release…

While Benson’s previous works have explored connections between screen-based image making and painterly handicraft, her new works concentrate on drawing. She has also been known for complicated, spectral color choices, and here, she takes the same risks with line and surface that she used to take with color. Accordingly, the palette of these works is more focused, allowing the profound weirdness of her compositional choices to take prominence. Her idiosyncratic, non-hierarchical structures fluctuate with potential readings from viewing to viewing. More.

Trudy Benson “Shapes of Things” through May 3 

Tatiana Berg “Sticky Fingers” at Theirry Goldberg and Koki Arts

Tatiana Berg at Thierry Goldberg

Tatiana Berg at Thierry Goldberg

Circling back from one of my earlier posts, Tatiana takes on two concurrent solo shows both titled “Sticky Foot” with one foot in NY’s Thierry Goldberg and another at Koki Arts in Tokyo.  For the NY show, Tatiana amps up the humor quotient via text, plastic fruit, and even strung-out grommet tears.  Whereas in Tokyo, it’s a more quaint affair with small-scaled gems guarded by her wonderfully witty abstract tents.

According to the release…

I love painting because even though it’s sort of romantic, it’s not a bloodless activity […] I think when it comes to the “messiness,” it’s the result of succumbing to a sort of indulgent painterly lust — pushing around the paint in a way that’s fun and seductive in the pursuit of capturing something joyful and fast. If my work appears casual, it is only because I learned to take myself seriously by not taking myself seriously at all. […] I might be making marks with abandon, but then I have to stop before it’s over. […] If you force yourself to stop, you preserve that magical, mystical “freshness” we painters are always yammering about […] Forgive the metaphor, but it’s painting with the pull-out method. More.

Tatiana Berg “Sticky Foot” at Thierry Goldberg through April 19 and Koki Arts through May 9. 

Tori Tinsley “Contact Comfort” at WonderRoot

Tori Tinsley at WonderRoot

Tori Tinsley at WonderRoot

With colors abloom in this post, here’s an auspicious debut of Tory Tinsley’s first ATL solo show at the WonderRoot exhibition space.  A second year MFA candidate at GSU’s Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design (disclosure — I do the PR there), Tori’s painting strategies are influenced by a deeply personal event as stated in her statement below…

My drawing, painting, photography, and textile work simulate the slow erasure and uncertainty experienced in losing my mother to an incurable brain disease called fronto-temporal degeneration. Because of the nature of this disease, in which my mother is physically present but psychologically absent, my grief process is frozen in a state of what psychologists refer to as ambiguous loss. This escape from finitude extends into the way I create my work; hands, fingers, and bits of familiar imagery are apparent but are scuttled by marks and layers. From the love studies of psychologist Harry Harlow, I introduce the synthetic mother figure who comforts without connecting. My work confronts guilt, fear, a nostalgic yearning for reconnection, and an attempt to find meaning through resilience.

Tori Tinsley “Contact Comfort” at WonderRoot through April 21.

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