Leslie Mutchler’s accumulation of holes


Leslie Mutchler, accumulation piece with paper and flags.

The first time I saw a Leslie Mutchler piece, it was at Tyler School of Art in a group show on the theme of paper put together by Produce Gallery. Mutcher’s work was an accumulation of stacks of small cut papers on a large plywood plank with red flags holding the piles together like those toothpicks in club sandwiches. The piece was a little jaunty and a lot forlorn, bespeaking (for me at any rate) the world of armies on the move, generals planning maneuvers on ad hoc tables in camp tents. Even more than that, the work cried out “So little time so much to do!” To do lists of a lifetime stabbed through the heart, perhaps in anger, perhaps in satisfaction of getting the job done. It was a great piece. See posts here and here for more.

290013357 1eb60e055c m
Leslie Mutchler collage in her solo show at Painted Bride Cafe. Black Storage with Lamp (Pottery Barn Spring 2006). 30″ x 44″ Collage and color pencil on paper. Something here reminds me of Charles Atlas holding up the world.

So upon seeing her new show of collage works at Painted Bride Cafe I was initially surprised, but then realized that Mutchler is still accumulating. But here what she’s piled on and up in stacks upon stacks is holes. Hundreds and hundreds of holes, stacked on each other encased in their little square or rectangular frames and suggesting everything from junk piles of televisions to office towers sitting on a river bank staring at themselves reflected in the river. Maps of emptiness, maps of the promised land, the works speak loudly of the void. And while they are far from celebrating the void, the artist, it appears, is having fun with the concept, since the works emote in a playful key instead of brooding or fuming or crying amongst themselves.

290012478 26a17b3db3 m
Mirroring suggests a cityscape reflected in a river.

Mutchler’s new collages, made from cut outs of home decor catalogs from Ikea, Pottery Barn and the like, suggest a kind of emptiness in the march towards standardization. Everybody’s couch will be the same, we will all have the same shelves, kitchens, and lamps. Individuality will take a back seat to the need to safely arrange the proper furniture in our homey homes. Catalogs are pretenders and here she’s cut out the guts of what’s being offered and exposed the nothingness at the core.

290012811 7447773fe6 m
Some of the works had a little color in them but generally they were dark and white.

I love found object works that subvert the original intent of the source material. And Mutchler’s works are smart subversions that you could actually decorate your home with. Get ’em now while supplies last.

This is an inliquid show.