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Weekly Update – Am the Rhythm rocks


This week’s Weekly has my review of Am the Rhythm at Painted Bride. Below is the copy with some pictures. More pictures at flickr and see Libby’s review here.

Jeanne Jaffe
Jeanne Jaffe, Polygenesis-Progeny installation at Painted Bride.

Undulating stripes and bursts of color, pulsing psychedelic patterns, delicious pink sculptural bubbles—all this and more make “Am the Rhythm” at the Painted Bride a jolly good show. The five-person exhibit of painting, sculpture and installation curated by Shelley Spector possesses a youthful ebullience. While the artists range from young to established, the high energy, sense of play and focus on beauty is uniform. All this art’s fresh as a daisy and supercharged.

Jeanne Jaffe
Jeanne Jaffe, detail of her piece, seen in an animation in the show’s behind-the-scenes video by Wendy Weinberg. The animation shows the sculpture jiggle ever so slightly like jello on a plate.

The show’s edgiest work is by Jeanne Jaffe, head of the UArts fine arts department and coordinator of sculpture for the school. Jaffe’s installation Polygenesis-Progeny, a group of painted acrylic shapes that look like various breasts (or perhaps those rubber toys you squeeze and the eyes pop out) sits on the walls and floor, suggesting a kind of bubbly infestation from a cartoon petri dish.

Each bulbous form extrudes a thin line of licorice-like black rope connecting to another form, which gives the whole a family-like connection—as well as some weird comical sex-toy kink. This brainy artist, who probably could define string theory for you then quote Baudrillard, took a risk with this new direction in her work, touching on stuff that’s comic as well as cosmic. It’s just what artists should do but often don’t.

Andrew Jeffrey Wright
Andrew Jeffrey Wright, seen painting one of his psychedelic pattern paintings in Wendy Weinberg’s behind-the-scenes video at Painted Bride.

Andrew Jeffrey Wright’s pulsing animated video Xs and Diamonds (animation by Bonnie Brenda Scott) takes his psychedelic pattern paintings (a grid of them is also included in the show) to a new level of zaniness. These paintings have patterns like grandma’s crocheted afghans. Only here she must’ve been on LSD, because the colors clash so intensely. These works will open your doors of perception and let you fall right in.

Andrew Jeffrey Wright
Andrew Jeffrey Wright’s finished paintings.

Isaac Tin Wei Lin’s black-painted cardboard monolith Haunted stands sentinel at the show’s entrance. This skyscraper of a piece has a cascade of white calligraphic swirls, letters and zigzags that taper off at the bottom, suggesting an elegant snowfall caught in the air.

Isaac Lin
Isaac Lin’s tower of boxes.

Lin has been using cardboard boxes and what’s now his signature calligraphy in lots of room-sized installations. Here, the marks, packed onto one massive vertical structure that suggests a human as well as a building, become the decoration on a ceremonial robe.

Isaac Lin
Lin, working on his piece in situ at the Bride. This shot is from Wendy Weinberg’s video.

Lin’s work stands next to a swirling explosive abstract painting by Jackie Tileston, whose mark-making seems a perfect echo with Lin’s (and vice versa). Laura Watt’s paintings surrounded by painted spiderwebs round out the show.

Jackie Tileston
Jackie Tileston’s swirling mix of ribbony rainbows and explosions of colors seem right at home in this show.

Upstairs, behind a black-painted cardboard wall by Lin, is filmmaker Wendy Weinberg’s video documentary that shows each artist making their work and installing the show, and curator Spector discussing the works.

Laura Watt's paintings on the wall painted with spider-web net of color behind.
Laura Watt’s paintings on the wall painted with spider-web net of color behind.

The video is smartly edited. My favorite part includes a scene in which Jaffe’s booby bubbles jiggle like Jell-O in a new animation by the artist. Also in Weinberg’s video is a great sequence on Wright. who’s focused with Zenlike intensity while making squiggly lined paintings using craft store colored paint pens.

“Am the Rhythm”
Through May 17. Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. 215.925.9914.