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September 23, 2004

Gallery Briefing

A belated addendum featuring more from West Loop...

Adam Scott, 'Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful' at Kavi Gupta

Kavi Gupta has rechristened his newly eponymous gallery (formerly Vedanta) with an fine exhibit of brash acrylics from Adam Scott.

The Sun-Times (offline but still cached here for the time being) described these as "paint-by-numbers on steroids." Indeed, Scott takes it to the next level, literally pouring on the colors so thick that the art nerd in me is deathly afraid for the integrity of his paint films.

The painting that really sold me on this show (and, incidentally, the only piece marked as sold as of last Friday) was Brownies and Lemonade, which features a gathering of woodland creatures (in brown) on log and stump, one reading a (yellow) book; I can only speculate on one particularly juvenile interpretation of this title.

Typical of all the works on display, both the content of this image and its source (culled from children's cartoons) are readily apparent yet effectively obscured (in this case by way of a strategy of silhouetting). Though familiar characters, critters and objects abound, without exception they are hidden from view or disembodied, whether eclipsed by a wall or rendered faceless by paint or fiery blast. We find here the cartoon worlds of youth in all their syrupy glory depersonalized into frantic tableaux at the edge of catastrophe.

Joshua Mosley, 'A Vue' at Donald Young

Joshua Mosley's "A Vue," on exhibit at Donald Young, is a short and charmingly awkward animation featuring stop-motion wax figures in the midst of ink wash environments (primarily still-frames, based on 3D renderings and brought to life Squigglevision-style).

In it we meet Henry (a park ranger according to the written materials), who spends his time polishing a 150ft statue of George Washington Carver that looms benevolently over a small housing development (in, according to the written materials, Diamond, Missouri), and Susan, who works for National Fiber Optics, enthusing about the ability to transmit information at the speed of light. Henry remains impressed that there are over 200 uses for the peanut.

The dialogue generally leaves something to be desired but is kept to an economical minimum, the work being dominated by the stillness of the rural landscape and a cello-heavy score from Abby Schneider to match it.

Irresolution, mundane austerity and a somber yearning suffuse the piece.

Susan: Henry, why do you do this?
Henry: There's a lot of work to be done, but I feel we're on the trail of something really important.

"Gallery Briefing"
Posted by Dan at 03:34 AM


Referenced in this post:

About.com Experts: Dr Katz and Home Movies
Art Center College of Design: Faculty Index—Abby Schneider
Chicago Sun-Times: Gallery season beckons—Margaret Hawkins (Google cache)
Climbing Jargon Glossary
Diamond, Missouri Resource Guide
Donald Young Gallery
Donald Young Gallery: Joshua Mosley
Joshua Mosley
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery: Adam Scott
Kavi Gupta Gallery: Adam Scott—Brownies and Lemonade
Kavi Gupta Gallery: Adam Scott—Let's Detonate
Kavi Gupta Gallery: Adam Scott—Untitled
Wingfield Farm: Peanut History