Living with strangeness is something I’m at home with. All six of the artists make work that I feel close to, that is at once intimate and yet not necessarily comfortable. Rather, it mystifies and begs questions, but is neither didactic nor literary. Instead each work in the show rewards sustained looking and solo encounters. I’d also be foolish not to admit that I like the each of these artists personally, which makes the mystifying aspects of their work all the more enjoyable, and all the more enticing to present together.
I like standing amongst Ohad Meromi’s beautiful, colloquially socialist figures which occupy the gallery’s Orchard Street window and I love trying to grok what seems like a freshly excavated bronze head that greets visitors alongside Sarah Canright’s paintings in the main space. Canright’s works are meticulous in color and scale, pushing us to gently investigate those relationships, while nearly inciting us to touch their fleshy surfaces. These are uniquely present paintings. Meanwhile, staring into Ara Peterson’s wall relief works is one of the more sublime pleasures one can afford oneself in today’s world. They are rooted in wave forms and replete with utterly disorienting color and pattern shifts that demand surrender.
Takeshi Murata’s drawings, which are unique silkscreen prints, distill the artist’s complex and recently photo-realistic vocabulary, to a fairly savage and comical language of expressive glyphs. Equally mysterious are Michelle Segre’s totems made from bread. There’s a good deal of humor and wonder in these objects, which ask to be contemplated and enjoyed with a sense of worship. Finally, Sally Saul’s ceramic sculptures in the downstairs gallery, are wise and crookedly funny works that anchor the exhibition in musings about nature, wildlife, through her dancing figures and surrealist experimentations. Arriving at Saul’s tables brings me back around, grounded again, nicely at home.
Dan Nadel has mounted exhibitions including: What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art: 1960 to the Present in Providence and New York, Victor Moscoso: Psychedelic Drawings, 1967-1982 in New York, Return of the Repressed: Destroy All Monsters 1973-1977 in Los Angeles; Karl Wirsum: Drawings 1967-1970 in New York. He is the founder of PictureBox, a Grammy Award-winning publishing company that produced books and projects from 2000 to 2014. Dan has authored books including The Collected Hairy Who Publications, Art Out of Time: Unknown Comic Visionaries, 1900-1969, and Gary Panter, and co-authored Electrical Banana: Masters of Psychedelic Art and Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream.
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