Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gallery Hoppin - Morgan Lehman, James Cohan, Susan Inglett galleries

At first glance, it's easy to categorize Trent Doyle Hancock's work as cartoony and outsider, with a large measurement of Philip Guston thrown in. Add the sometimes garish color, text, and wild compositions and it presents a challenge to pause and get past those elements and see the cake under the frosting.
     It helps to know that TDH's work has recurring images like cats, eyes, bones and mixing in proverbs (from his devout Christian upbringing), maxims and "self-deprecating poetic musings." These new pieces involve a deeper self-exploration of his work, densely layered images, mixed media, collage and breaking the plane of the canvas with rips and tears.
     In his statement TDH asks, “How absurd is it to be an artist?”
     James Cohan Gallery, 533 West 26th Street New York NY, Nov 8 - Dec 22, 2012

      Anyone who has worked with watercolors knows that working with the medium on a large surface can be very tricky. Kim McCarty clearly has no issue with that challenge, using the wet-on-wet technique ("Single Strand", left, is 45x74" in size). She began using watercolors rather than oil when her studio was ravaged by wild fires in Cali. There are watercolors of flowers and small portraits in the show, but her large full scale nudes are most captivating. Naivete? Confident awareness? viewers will come away with different interpretations in these portraits of youthful boys and girls.
     Morgan Lehman, 535 W.  22nd St, NY - Oct 25-Dec 22, 2012

     William Villalongo's exhibit at Susan Inglett Gallery is one of those that catch your eye and lure you in when gallery hopping."Sista Ancesta" consists of several framed mixed media pieces (see photo) of naked brown women bathing in a river as the viewer voyeuristically peers through the jungle bush. However, these women are quite aware of our presence, staring back at us through chunks of abstract paintings and giving us the finger, a black power salute, or brandishing nunchakus.

     Villalongo explores "the colonial gaze" and explores the "birth of Western abstraction as an extension of Colonial power and desire, " particularly that of the rise and fall of the British Empire. It's interesting to see his use of the titillating gaze of whites on these "savages" and turns it on its head.
        Susan Inglett, 522 W.  24th St, NY: Oct 18-Dec 15, 2012


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