Sled Island Preview of Painting: Thick and Thin and Grreeden
The show is more than a conversation in painting. It is like entering a party of the full range of your friends, your party posse, your hours of coffee debaters and awkward acquaintances from work that you feel you should be closer to, but aren’t.
The show is well directed, beginning with Patrick Lundeen’s tripkitsch, Wanna See My Bacon Torpedo (2008). Set across from the ordered chaos of Chris Millar’s work and the slightly more subdued, Dave and Jenn pieces, the show starts off with an energetic burst of the potential and fun of painting. Terence Koh’s discrete but elevated sculpture,The Finger (2007), tucked in the corner, is a send off to authority and a nudge to the academics. The mood is a command of painting in one’s own language, one that bubbles over with excitement, like trying to eavesdrop at a party where you build the story from the snippets you overhear.
Kyle Beal’s work acts as a transition piece, literally a cushion, between the playful into the darker tones of Kim Neudorf’s series of Fele paintings (2005‑2006) my friend aptly described as, “like those dreams where you feel your teeth falling out.” They reminded me of the work of Ben Templesmith in his 30 Days of Night graphic novel series and are dark and lovely.
Shary Boyle’s the Clearances and Skirmish at Bloody Point (both 2007) were absolutely magical. The former is a twenty foot collection of drawings pinned to the wall with military men and mythological creatures directing the dispossessed. A timed sequence with overhead projectors illuminates the work and the end result is a multi-layered narrative. I saw elements reminiscent in the exploration of mythology and physical scope of Henry Darger with the basic technical aspects of Kara Walker’s work. However,this is only a superficial similarity and does not do the work justice in description.
Paulo Whitaker’s Five Abstract Paintings reminded me of contact prints in photography with their stenciled forms layered inexploration. However, I found myself distracted and wanting to wander back into Boyle’s imaginary world every time I heard the timer click.
The sister exhibition located in the Marion Nicoll Gallery is a conversation between Wil Murray’s paintings and Justin Evans lenticular prints. The show is successful in creating a dialog not only between the two but with the viewer as well. The inherent properties of the lenticular format require a side to side viewing, a physical study in curiosity of questioning how you are viewing the work and what you are seeing that spills over into Murray’s sculptural paintings which demand a viewing around the canvas to examine a process that projects outside of itself.
Photos from the show can be found in the Photos section of this site.
-Courtney Thompson* Photo by Mason Hastie