Old City paper trail-II

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After seeing all those nicely-crafted paper works at Snyderman, I ran over to Gallery Joe for the three-person drawing show and Dino Pelliccia’s alabaster carvings.

But before I got inside, I noticed there’s a new piece in Bird Park, the pocket park around the corner that’s maintained by Joe but has been empty over the last few months. There’s no card outside telling you who made the piece and once I got inside I forgot to get the particulars (I’ll get them for you). But check it out — it’s a throne made of painted wood and lattice and a cheery addition to a dark corner. (image above)

Inside, the drawing show, called “Accrescere” (the Latin word for accretion or growth) has three artists, Teo Gonzalez (New York), John Morris (New York) and Laurie Reid (California). All three are mining something manic but in three quite different ways.

Gonzalez is a grid artist working in breath-taking micro-scale. His small works build up loose grids of teeny, tiny dots within other,more squared-off dots which sit on rectangles of color. Bright and shiny, the top-most dots of alkyd look like drips of nail polish — they have 3-D presence. (image above right is detail from an untitled work)

 

The technique, which you must go nose-to-nose with to see, reminds me a bit of Chuck Close’s daubs within daubs, although it also reminds me of braille, the tiny dots like some coded story you could read with your fingers.

According to Gallerist Becky Kerlin, Gonzalez’s work with color is new, and clearly, the artist is enjoying the optical charge from putting red on blue — or green.

Also, about the white paper support he uses… Gonzalez paints the entire sheet of paper white before he begins his detail work, something that helps him control the paint he puts on the surface.

If Gonzalez is a dot-dot maximalist, Laurie Reid is a drip-drip minimalist. Not that her work is minimalism but her spare lines that pucker the paper or Wonder-Breat dots of watercolor on big sheets of paper are like the great Western prairies next to Gonzalez’s jam-packed cities. (image left is a detail from Reid’s watercolor on paper, “Elucidation/Tangle”)

Reid’s playfulness, which evokes childhood experimentation, is breezy yet controlled, a nice combination.

John Morris’s studies on what looked like sketchbook pages seem to be doodles. Yet their delicate build-ups of lines (in ink, ballpoint pen and graphite), all interconnected loosely, stand alone as complete thoughts. Biomorphic and lacey; intimate and lovely, they suggest everything from paper clips to vaginas to bacteria swimming in a dish. (sorry about the fuzzy image, above — it’s a detail from one of Morris’s untitled drawings)

In the Vault, Pelliccia’s carvings, which look like stylized torso-chunks, refer to the female body. The artist, who carves alabaster and has a couple bass wood pieces, depicts the body’s “ins” and “outs” lovingly — and subtlely. (image above and below)

Two words characterize this Gallery Joe experience — control and subtlety. These are artists playing with process but who are completely in control of it, so much so that the viewing experience is never hijacked by questions of “how.”

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