Two postmortems

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Sometimes I just blow it in the timely department. I saw two shows that I hesitated to write about partly because I had mixed reactions. But they both were rather interesting, and so I’m coming back at them, even though both are gone.

1) Ryan Widger at Kelly and Weber (closed last month)

IMG_5284 ryan widger grey room
Ryan Widger, Grey Room

Ryan Widger‘s huge, grayed-out photographs at Kelly and Weber (201 Gallery) last month, created from distressed negatives that have suffered the effects of bleach and other cruel treatments, are of architectural spaces with mysterious what-is-it or who-is-it elements. They look like a still from a camera pan just before Sam Spade walks into the space and risks his life. The grainy, scratchiness reflects the way old celluloid film deteriorates. Noir is a pop genre, but these works are rarefied and almost clinical. I understand how the scale emphasizes the deracinated humanity of the isolated objects, but there’s a lot of empty space here. I loved the unglassed framing technique. No reflections!!!

Widger, by the way, took these photos while on a Fulbright in Sweden, and these works attempted to capture some of the light there. This semester, he was a visiting artist at Drexel University.

2) Ivan Stojakovic at Bridgette Mayer (closed May 24)

Ivan Stojakovic, Landscape with Jupiter Undercover, 2008, oil, acrylic, alkyd and spray paint on canvas, 60 x 43 inches.
Ivan Stojakovic, Landscape with Jupiter Undercover, 2008, oil, acrylic, alkyd and spray paint on canvas, 60 x 43 inches.

In his exhibit Build-up, Ivan Stojakovic returned to Bridgette Mayer Gallery with even more sculptural use of paint than last outing. Combined with his silvery color and crumbling infrastructure, these new gobs of paint suggest decadence, excess and death–Miss Havisham’s apartment in vivid color. These works focus on nature and the city; I missed the more overt biological references evident on the previous outing. But I still look forward to seeing more of this New York-based artist’s work.

Tags

201 gallery, bridgette mayer gallery, ivan stojakovic, kelly/weber gallery, ryan widger

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