Templeton Spotlights 9 emerging artists

In the small open-call show Spotlights at Rebekah Templeton, the nine artists in the exhibit do a great job of making fresh work from the old tactic of making silk purses out of sows ears.

Installation shot. In the center Tim Eads, Rhonda’s Bags, plastic bags, light, 2008, 15 x 60 inches; left, work by Benjamin Gardner, and far right, by Dante Lentz.

Themes like the environment, beauty and materials. Tim Eads‘ Rhonda’s Bags, wall sconces of wrinkly, fused plastic-bags back-lit by lightbulbs hit the trio of questions about the environment, beauty and materials, even as he evokes the presence of a particular person. Eads has been showing all around town recently–it’s hard, and fun, to keep up with him!

Jane Fox Hipple, Given(s), oil, egg tempera on panel, 2010, 36 x 28 x 1

And Jane Fox Hipple‘s Given(s) oil and egg tempera color smears on panel with two eye-holes or poke-holes to nowhere made me think of weathered wood on an outhouse door. Even the slightly knocked-up white frame couldn’t gentrify the plank, but the glowing pink around the poke holes and the curve lower right added a touch of flesh and transcendence. Fox had a solo show at DODGEgallery in New York in February.

Daniel Petraitis, Fresh White Tee

While Eads and Hipple both work the beauty of ugliness to great effect, Daniel Petraitis, with his Fresh White Tee works the antithesis–no-account t-shirt transmogrified into Platonic art object with fine art materials. Petraitis also has a solo show up right now at Seed on Diamond Gallery. The show includes another Fresh White Tee, which is from an edition of five.

Stand-out drawings from opposite ends of the spectrum of technique come from Amy Chan and Leah Tacha.

Amy Chan, Snowdrop, gouache, acrylic on paper, 2010

In Chan’s 72-inch-wide gouache on paper drawing, Snowdrop, Casper the friendly ghost goes formless as a snow-cloud planet, with hilly breasts and tufts of hairy greenery. But the sweet-sweet cartoon also evokes rogue weather systems and man-eating feather beds. Chan is a Pollock-Krasner grantee.

Leah Tacha, Healer, detail, glitter, marker, graphite, collage, 2011

Leah Tacha‘s series of off-hand-looking collage drawings intrigued me the most. In Healer, a woman in a cut-out white fur jacket has a yucky blot of red glitter obliterating her face and hands (also her skirt, but it was the masked flesh that made me react). With the equivalent of drawing a moustache on a photo portrait, Tasha manages to ridicule media presentations of glamor. Yet she scribbles and draws what strike me as power lines and threats from pod people–the mojo of celebrity. The contradictory message of building up and tearing down seems about right. Tacha, who comes out of Suny Purchase (MFA) and Cleveland Institute of Art (BFA) has been a regular exhibitor in the boroughs of New York for the past couple of years, especially with Homestead Gallery.

Others in the emerging artists show are Jacque Liu, Eleanna Anagnos, Dante Lentz, and Benjamin Gardner. The guest curator is Jon Lutz. The show runs to June 18.