I took a little ramble around the galleries of 319 N. 11th St. last Saturday. It was quiet and I almost had the place to myself.
Dualities at Grizzly Grizzly
Matt Giel and Alanna Lawley’s installation at Grizzly Grizzly is a miracle of spatial discombobulation. Lawley’s billboard-size pictures of light-filled interiors hang from ceiling to floor in narrow strips of imagery. The photo blow-ups create the sense of a real room (or a virtual room, or perhaps several rooms and a hallway). And Giel’s continuous print of a seemingly endless seaside horizon is taped around the room like a chair rail where it plays peek-a-boo in and out of Lawley’s room strips. While you see one end of Giel’s continuous print on the wall, the other end is wound up into a tight cylinder that sits on a modernist pedestal. Visions of zoetropes and slide carousels danced in my head.
There’s a surrealist feel to the this 2-person exhibit. Both artists have turned photographs into sculpture in a dialog about dualities — inside/outside; big/small. It’s a friendly exchange of motifs and ideas. While Lawley’s great big pictures are just that, her installation — and the cropping of images — is what makes these paper canyons formidable. Giel’s endless ocean and sky — reduced to something almost utilitarian like tape or wallpaper — is poignant. Of course we commodify the elements every day, in travel advertisements, but here it smacks you in the face for its craziness.
Good pairing, great interplay between the two artists’ works. Be sure you see this one. It’s forward-leaning photography.
Down the hall from Grizzly in galleries next to each other reside some eye-popping works in bright, happy colors. Tiger’s themed show “Twee Abstraction” has a couple of pieces that, whether twee or not I am unable to say, but are pretty great works of color and shape. Tamara Zahaykevich’s “Pumpkin Queen,” a pastel easter-egg-cum-cupcake on the wall (made of foamboard, paper, acrylic, paint, glue) evokes birthday parties, pinatas, and bon bons of all sorts.