Around the world at 319 N. 11th St., Part 1

I took a little ramble around the galleries of 319 N. 11th St. last Saturday. It was quiet and I almost had the place to myself.

Dualities at Grizzly Grizzly

Matt Giel and Alanna Lawley, Duett, at Grizzly Grizzly. Installation shot

Matt Giel and Alanna Lawley’s installation at Grizzly Grizzly is a miracle of spatial discombobulation. Lawley’s billboard-size pictures of light-filled interiors hang from ceiling to floor in narrow strips of imagery. The photo blow-ups create the sense of a real room (or a virtual room, or perhaps several rooms and a hallway). And Giel’s continuous print of a seemingly endless seaside horizon is taped around the room like a chair rail where it plays peek-a-boo in and out of Lawley’s room strips. While you see one end of Giel’s continuous print on the wall, the other end is wound up into a tight cylinder that sits on a modernist pedestal. Visions of zoetropes and slide carousels danced in my head.

Matt Giel, “Atlantic City” –one rolled-up end of the continuous roll of sea and sky scape.  Photo courtesy of the artist

There’s a surrealist feel to the this 2-person exhibit. Both artists have turned photographs into sculpture in a dialog about dualities — inside/outside; big/small. It’s a friendly exchange of motifs and ideas. While Lawley’s great big pictures are just that, her installation — and the cropping of images — is what makes these paper canyons formidable. Giel’s endless ocean and sky — reduced to something almost utilitarian like tape or wallpaper — is poignant. Of course we commodify the elements every day, in travel advertisements, but here it smacks you in the face for its craziness.

Good pairing, great interplay between the two artists’ works. Be sure you see this one. It’s forward-leaning photography.

Abstract and Playful at Napoleon and Tiger Strikes Asteroid

Tamara Zahaykevich Pumpkin Queen, foamboard, paper, acrylic paint, glue

Down the hall from Grizzly in galleries next to each other reside some eye-popping works in bright, happy colors. Tiger’s themed show “Twee Abstraction” has a couple of pieces that, whether twee or not I am unable to say, but are pretty great works of color and shape. Tamara Zahaykevich’s “Pumpkin Queen,” a pastel easter-egg-cum-cupcake on the wall (made of foamboard, paper, acrylic, paint, glue) evokes birthday parties, pinatas, and bon bons of all sorts.

Alex Paik, Prelude and Fugue,
colored pencil, paper


Alex Paik’s zig-zag color-pencil-striped paper construction “Prelude and Fugue” likewise brings up ideas of party games — rubiks’ cubes gone bananas, game boards to nowhere and something like what Frank Stella might have made if he ever had a sense of humor or the ability to not take himself soooo seriously.

Andrew Masullo, 5326, 
oil on canvas, 16×20″


Andrew Masullo’s “5326” makes (in my mind anyway) a reference to the Canadian flag, only the hallowed maple leaf has been turned into a cheery, cherry-red splat.


Edward Brady at Napoleon

The two person show at Napoleon cleaves down the middle–showdown style. Jake Yeager’s cone-shaped paper pieces, large, iconic and pristine in their crafting stand off against Edward Brady’s inky black night of the soul street-art objects and spray paint of “Dirtbag Dirtbag Dirtbag” on the wall. Whatever is going on here, it’s as great a pairing of opposites as the duo in Grizzly is a pairing of similars.

More of my ramble in the Vox building coming up soon.