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Winter discontents

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It can’t always be Spring or Summer. And the wintry bleakness of the current members’ show at Vox Populi seems an almost natural cyclical turn from the exuberant growth-ful (if not entirely hopeful) Parts to the Whole of last month. (See posts here and here for a reminder of that show.)

M. Ho‘s Another New Year displays death on the gallery floor in a graveyard-like grid of New York TImes front pages with everything “blued” out but the above-the-fold color pictures. We all see dead people now thanks to the open-eyed front page coverage of carnage in the Middle East and eco-disasters from Thailand to Louisiana.

One of Ho’s blued-out NY Times front pages, shows two soldiers hugging a coffin.

Ho told me she’d collected the papers over several years and her use of the single, solidifying blue came from thinking about the sky and the quiet calm it can bring. I called it a baby blue — innocent. And she told me a story about Felix Gonzales Torres who made an infinite stack that was a baby blue color. The piece was called Lover Boy and Gonzales Torres referred to the blue as the color of innocence. Ho said she’s a big admirer of the late artist’s works.

One of Robert Chaney’s drawings of California

Robert Chaney‘s California-themed room of Polaroids, drawings and a painting is much ado about the sky also. But it’s a sky seen through the infrastructure of wires, stop signs and Western urban effluvia. Chaney’s works just keep getting better. The graphite drawings, all black silhouetted shapes against a stark white void are eerie and anthemic. This is a familiar but forbidding world.

Linda Yun’s piece with joint compound sanded down to within an inch of its life

Linda Yun, using make-up and joint compound made several works of Rothko-like or Turrell-like mysitcal spiritualism. White on white works with body glitter adding starry sparkle the works are windows on a world of white-out. Yun’s pock-marked piece using joint compound grabbed me. In the context of the other works’ pristine beauty this seemingly flawed work — especially lovely for all the footprints in the snow below it — was imperfection personified. Imperfect skin, dirty window, snow fall of dark unloveliness. I love it for its vulnerability.

The show’s up through Sunday so swing by if you can. And also, check back soon for information on a forthcoming fundraiser for Vox to help it with its imminent move out of the Gilbert Building. (They like all tenants have to move because the building’s being torn down to make way for the Convention Center expansion. And the move may be sooner rather than later (as in May might be their last show in Gilbert, Ho said.) Anyway, apparently Victory brewing is preparing some kind of fundraiser for the group. More on that when I get the details.