March 18, 2012
Where to guide your aesthetic eye this month
By Nancy Staab
- Images courtesy of the galleries
March/April brings erotic abstracts, installation art channeling a seedy but archetypal roadside bar; and a long lost photographic archive recently come to light
Sometimes the eye is riveted and one does not even know why. Here’s a visual tour of some current and upcoming local gallery exhibits that we won’t even attempt to over-explicate. Get thee to the galleries and see for yourself!
James Reeves at Hagedorn Foundation Gallery
Young, English photographer James Reeve’s “Lightscapes” series depicts the electric-like light circuitry of cities from Beirut and Marseilles to London and Las Vegas, illuminated at night against the velvety black sky in his large-format photos. The bird’s eye photographs sometimes suggest the children’s toy LiteBrite or perhaps neural synapse in the brain. The artist, himself, likens some of his images to “Thousands of colorful Television screens, all lined up in rows on the hillside.” Some lightscapes are as bright as an overloaded circuit board. In other cases the lights are so spare and minimal as to be meditative. Cities are stripped of any iconic, identifiable landmark and the result is almost abstract. Reeve’s series created quite a sensation as it travelled from Tokyo to Paris and noted designer Dries Van Noten even collaborated with Reeves on several pieces for his Spring 2012 collection, translating Reeve’s photos into three-dimensional couture that was equally bewitching. Through March 31.
Vivian Maier at Jackson Fine Art
She went to her grave, known only as a nanny. But in 2007 the contents of a storage locker revealed 100,000 negatives from this intrepid street photographer, who is now compared to the likes of Diane Arbus, Walker Evans and André Kertész. Exhibit through April 7. www.jacksonfineart.com
Todd Murphy at Jackson Fine Art
While at Jackson, check out Atlanta/New York artist Todd Murphy’s transfixing, black- and-white photos of icebergs from a recent trip to Antartica. Some are precisely clinical and sharp-looking, some almost abstract, and some haunting and ethereal. Natural sublimity at its best. Exhibit through April 7.
Yves Le Duc at Bill Lowe Gallery
At first glance these spare, black-and-white abstracts are graceful and minimal, almost angelic. But look again. There’s a sexier subtext to these pictures, which, according to the Lowe Gallery press release, “examine the relationships between mind, body and the male-female energies…inherent in the creative process.” On second glance, these pictures are quite obviously, well, erotic. The play between the two perceptions of these paintings is interesting and however, you look at them, the pictures are arresting. Le Duc was born and raised in France, began his artistic career in Naples, Italy and this show, entitled “Sacred Portal” travels to Atlanta (his first show in the US) from Palazzo Spinelli in Florence, Italy. The exhibit opens March 30.
Alan Loehle at Marcia Wood Gallery
In the past, Alan Loehle’s paintings have traded in liminality. His new paintings, entitled “Rome Series,” are indeed more “bold” and “immediate,” as the gallery claims, both in palette and imagery. Nevertheless, his paintings are still layered with almost graffiti-like markings and suggestive symbols drawn from memory, history, culture, dream etc. (We love “Correggio Kiss,” pictured here, with the nude figure borrowed from Renaissance painter Correggio’s sensual “Jupiter and Io”). Life may be but a dream, but at least in Loehle’s verison it’s quite a lush, rich tapestry. Exhibit through April 21.
Lorie Corbus at Marcia Wood Gallery
While at Marcia Wood Gallery, check out the equally dreamlike, slightly disorienting figurative paintings of SCAD grad Lorie Corbus. A narrative seems to be suggested in some of them, and yet, the pieces don’t quite come together. Here’s what the gallery had to say about her most recent exhibit “Cue the Choir”: Corbus’s paintings “are an unreliable account of reality presented in dreamlike singularity. Though realistic, the scenes are vague and open to interpretation. Landscapes without figures feel recently vacated. Figures often seem out of place…The big questions of what is happening—that of existence, spirituality, love, identity and humanity –are the questions Corbus asks.” Exhibit through April 21.
Ben Roosevelt at Get This! Gallery
As the gallery states, “Ben Roosevelt is a multidisciplinary artist who makes works about the urban environment and existential confusion.” This does not go a long way in explaining his current installation piece “The Blue Flame” but it’s a start. Roosevelt welcomes us into an immersive, archetypal seedy roadside bar that channels Iggy Pop, Dante’s The Divine Comedy, and the Romantics and charts the birth pangs of artistic creation and human life in general via text, drawing, sculpture. This intriguing exhibit defies description so you’ll just have to see it for yourself. Exhibit through April 28.
Mark Boomershine at Robert Matre Gallery
Channeling pop culture of a different order (icons like Wonder Woman, Grace Kelly, Steve McQueen and race car scenes) is painter Mark Boomershine for his new show “Smokin’ Hot & Cool.” Fresh off his big commission piece for Harper’s Bazaar and Swarovski Crystal, Boomershine continues in the large-format, collage-mural vein, but there are also single portraits of icons and works on paper melding portrait and text. Exhibit through April 10.