Monday, November 19, 2007

Lawndale Looks Fiiine

The Lawndale Art Center opened their newest exhibits on Friday the 16th, the cleanly produced shows spotlighted a cohesive penchant for brightness and vitality, even if it is only skin deep. The current shows look professional, they are curated well and should be recommended for touring out-of-towners. Kick up the lighting a little bit and this is a perfect example of what a regional art space should be- a platform for locals to look good in pics, on paper and for a month in the gallery. In Little Known Facts, curator Michael Guidry's smart use of artist's collections (David Aylsworth, Robert Ruello, Laura Lark, Andrew Groocock and Gabriela Trzebinski) juxtaposed with their paintings and sculpture gives the lion's share of space to the objects rather than the work but in doing so concentrates the vast associations of the everyday fetish in select exemplary pieces that are carried by their heftier counterparts. Elaine Bradford's twisted animals on the second floor are spare, but allow the visitor space to peruse their enigmatic forms. Brian Piana's Myspace pages writ large in the back gallery bring both video game store sale racks and the blinders of computer screen-based rectangular vision to mind, the undertaking of using all available wall space is a positive choice given the vapidness of erasing all content from the Lawndale's "Friends". All the way up on the third floor the formalist-sounding Differentia installation of Lily Hanson is an intriguing space, but her little landscapes, sculptural tables and soft beanbag thingies hold more associations than the artist seems willing to admit (not that there's anything wrong with that). I missed Heather Shore and Julie DeVries' Operaskia shadowbox performance but I had a chance to sneak backstage and check out what it'll be like to go back next week when they give a performance for a local elementary school group. Reminds me of the Adventures of Prince Achmed...

Laura Lark's collections of collections

Robert Ruello's collection of Japanese pornographic prints and painting

Gabriela Trzebinski

Elaine Bradford

One half of Woody's Double Trouble

Lily Hanson

Backstage for the show, Operaskia