Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Playing catch-up

Ah, sweet blog. I feel like a bad partner who is going back to a relationship two months too late to try and make-up for lost time. Lots of reviews of shows that I have been meaning to post. I will only do the ones that are still up for relevance sake.

City Gallery East has hung its last show. For a gallery that has displayed local greats such as Wayne Kline, Mario Petrirena, and Sheila Pree Bright the final exhibit went out with a bit of a fizzle as opposed to a deserved fireworks show. Granted pin-up shows can be a bit piece-meal and at times redundant, but The Pin-Up Show #4 on top of the usual critiques, the show came across as more of an art school foundations show than a showcase of local talents. The number of figure drawings was absolutely overwhelming and smothered even those that were truly a tour de force. Because of the accompanying mass of figure studies, Tania Becker’s abstracted mixed media pieces, which are usually ethereal and transcendental came across as sophomoric and trite. Anita Arliss’ work suffered from bad placement and was completely lost in its sad corner, despite the fun, punchy colors. Stan Woodard’s piece was the only one that escaped the downward pull of the rest of the show. In his cubicled section of gallery towards the front of the exhibit, his sparsely lit topographical spread, Untitled (Dawn to Dusk) was one of the few pieces that creatively handled the task of a pin-up piece. Woodard’s piece was my choice pick for the show, because it so eloquently embraced Atlanta, whether intentionally or not through the landscape of the sculpture. For the last exhibition of a gallery that so embraced the city and supported its arts, this seemed like a sweet little farewell kiss on the cheek.
Stan Woodard,
Dawn to Dusk, 2008

I don’t know if it’s the undeniable girliness in me, but I love glitter. The more the merrier I say. If you are going to do kitsch go all the way. Despite being pushed up by a couple of months, Marianne Lambert was still able to pull off a spectacular display of glitz and gaudiness at the Swan Coach House Gallery’s current exhibition, All That Glitters. The strength in show lies entirely in the fact that every artist completely embraced the slight vulgarity of such a saccharine theme. Joni Mabes’ slightly garish glitter portraits of some of our flashiest pop icons including P.T. Barnum and Elvis in appropriate grandeur could not be more endearing. Claire Joyce’s contribution to the show was a glittertastic punch that would put any pop artist to shame. If anyone was destined for this exhibit, Joyce certainly proved that she was it. Her all-glitter psychedelic rendering of two cakes are the epitome of the show: unabashedly cutesy and blissful. Between Jim Waters pastel, Vegas Chapel-style crosses, and Sarah Emerson’s sparkling Dark Forest I can’t help that this show came just in time for spring and Easter candy cavities.
Claire Joyce, Double Birthday Explosion

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