Who’s who in "Great"

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When we stopped by Spector Gallery for its opening of “Great (re)Masters” Friday the place was filled with the artists and their buddies (see Roberta’s post on the show).

Two Sarahs

We saw Sarah McEneaney (top) standing in front of gallery owner Shelley Spector’s own NFS tribute to the late Rebecca Westcott. The work was based on “Coral #1 and 2.” McEneaney was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s “Rain” to paint her own garden in a downpour.

We also saw Sarah Roche (right), who contributed a full-size copy of Gustave Corbet’s “The Wave,” 18″ x 22″. She also contributed a compressed version, 5″ x 7″. I wonder if this is a commentary on the shrinking of artwork to fit the computer screen (actually, I doubt it, but I did think the thought and had to share it). Roche is standing next to Rob Matthews’ black-and-white drawing of Edward Hopper’s oil-on-canvas “Office at Night,” thereby upping the noir quotient of a painting that was born noir.

Nearby

Matthews was also once part of the Roche picture, but he moved his head, became a blur, and is now cropped out. In this picture (left) I didn’t crop out the back of his head on the left. And next to him was Matt Fisher (standing on right), shown here talking to a man taking notes and wearing a nametag that said “Jonathan” (standing in center). Fisher’s cheery take on the so-so-serious Peter Doig‘s “Figure in a Mountain Landscape III” made me laugh and check the price list.

Others spotted in the back room with the Sarahs, Rob and Tracy Matthews and Fisher were David Guinn , who contributed a sort of cubist cardboard relief based on a suit of armor, and his wife Marina Borker and Roche’s husband Mark Shetabi, and Randall Sellers, whose take on Manet’s “Luncheon on the Grass” mixes up participants and non-participants in a whacky, half-nude picnic.

Making an exit

Near the front door we paused to chat with Frank and Helen Hyder (Frank above right, Helen left), who probably came to cheer on their friend Paul Santoleri, who transformed Rubens‘ “Prometheus Bound” with interlocking and twisting patterns.

It was then we noticed Matt Pruden, who I had just met the week before. And speaking of meeting people just the week before, directly outside the door was Max Lawrence and his girlfriend. I forgot her name. Sorry. But I remember that his dog, who was there on a leash, is named Tula. She looked just like her portrait over at Vox Populi. Lawrence’s piece was Alan Iverson based on Eduard Charlemont’s “The Moorish Chief.”

Also as we exited, there was Ben Woodward about to enter. Woodward’s take on Marcel Duchamp‘s “Nude Descending a Staircase” reveals the monster under our clothes.

I’m sorry I didn’t have pictures of everyone else just so I could say something more about each piece.

This show has escaped a double-curse–1)erratic group-show confusion and 2)low-energy high-concept art where someone assigns a task to a group of artists. Put the two together and you’re almost always guaranteed something not too interesting. But this show is darned interesting, energetic and fun. It closes quickly so don’t dilly-dally.

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