MBG Issue #45: May 27, 2005

Issue # 45

May 27, 2005

May 27, 2005

share with a friend:


Cynthia Camlin at d berman gallery
On view through June 18, 2005

Colloquially, "monad" means the number one, the most basic mathematical unit. Monads, alternatively, can be single, non-divisible entities - things essentially and absolutely simple. In the scientific community, the term describes a fundamental unit of the animal body. Other uses of monad have more theological connotations, expressing the problem of divine unity and diversity, or the Christian God's coincidence in the monad and triad, as it were. In such usages the monad stops being so simple.

There are four "open monads" at d berman gallery, all by artist Cynthia Camlin. Aspects of these monads are simple, but simplicity is not their overriding message. Pattern and pigment, derived through skeins of nearly-translucent color glazes are the monads' most striking features. Their combinations of surface shapes (trapezoids and triangles primarily, and the occasional rhombus) appear regular, but do not obviously repeat. Propped up on one point, the four six-inch cubes develop into puzzling geometries. The almost-knowable relationships of flat shapes and deep overlapping tones held my attention. Their colors, however, would benefit from variation.

In each of the four monads (and in all of Camlin's panel paintings, which I'll discuss momentarily) whites and purples, reds, blues, and greens abound. Purple from lightest lavender to intense fuchsia and green from dimmest mint to saturated emerald dress the gallery space in ways that coordinate too harmoniously for my tastes. In Camlin's defense, the color coordination might be what returns the disparate units to the singularity of the monad. Still, a foray outside of this palate would have been a welcomed and ambitious step. Emerald comes to mind not only as a hue, but also as a structure. The monads' surfaces evoke crystalline growth patterns and gem configurations. Areas appear inlaid, like mosaic tessellations. Some portions of the monads seem as though they have been erased, others keep generating, accumulating new growth across their planes and corners.

Hanging from the gallery walls, the monad patterns broaden into panels which, on the whole, are richer than their cubic counterparts. Oddly, the illusions of depth within these pieces (some created with skewed variations of linear perspective, others appearing materially and atmospherically through the layers of pigment) are more engaging on a flat ground than when seen in three-dimensions. The viewer accustomed to traditional genre conventions will see allusions to landscape horizons. Other elements within the paintings suggest glacial formations and cyber-age digital vistas. Camlin discusses her interest in geology, glaciers, and landscapes in the artist's statement for the show. The most successful pieces, however, vacillate between these insinuations of recognizable forms and the abstract play of color, space, and shape. At their best they are indecipherable, despite their clarity and precision.

Laid down in oil, gouache, acrylic and water color, these paintings are something to look at. Their placement (across from the monads) makes both groups of work appear more thoughtful, while suggesting new ways to crack their veiled logic. The show runs through June 18.

Ewan Gibbs: From the Empire State Building
Lora Reynolds Gallery
On view through June 25, 2005

Lora Reynolds Gallery's current show, Ewan Gibbs: From the Empire State Building is a knockout. The first room features eight small scale drawings on graph paper (each 11 5/8 X 8 1/4 inches), the sources for which are photographs taken by Gibbs from the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York City. Meticulously rendered, each work is comprised of thousands of single marks — one mark per square of graph paper. All titled From the Empire State Building, these works draw the viewer into Gibbs' world through his meticulous process and then beckons a second look as we engage in his larger atmospheric vision. Ewan Gibbs lives and works in London and has been featured in numerous exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States. Ewan Gibbs: From the Empire State Building will remain on view through June 25.

Ausencias y Sifencios
Women & Their Work
On View Through June 25, 2005

Entering the refreshingly cool Women & Their Work gallery offers some relief from the Texas heat, though the current exhibition surrounds the viewer with the hot colors of summer. The pieces included in Liliana Wilson's Ausencias y Silencios exhibition are complemented by their careful placement in the gallery space. A nice summery show. Wilson's work is filled with hot colors, rising moons, bare skin, and flowers. Unusual media such as acrylic on wood and colored pencil on illustration board, as well as a handful of captivating details occasionally compensate for the cliches and heavy-handed symbolism featured in her work. For a dose of summer color without enduring the season's heat, step into Women & Their Work before the show ends on June 25th.


Artists Selected for AMOA's 22 to Watch: New Art in Austin

Congratulations to Sterling Alien, Candace Bricefio, Ledia Carroll, Jerry Chamkis, Hunter Cross, Jeffrey Dell, Peat Duggins, Jonathan Faber, Alia Hasan-Khan, Hana Hillerova, Heather Johnson, Young-Min Kang, Barna Kantor, Shaune Kolber, Samantha Krukowski, Michael Osborne, Zack Booth Simpson, Jason Singleton, Karen Skloss, Sodalitas (Shea Little, Joseph Phillips, Jana Swec), Daniel Tackett, and Trent Tale. 22 to Watch: New Art in Austin, initiated in 2002, is the second in a series of triennial exhibitions designed to highlight the work of local emerging artists. This traveling exhibition and its accompanying catalogue provide increased exposure to the artists selected. This exhibition opens August 20, 2005.

After three years The Bower closes its doors.

After 3 years of exhibitions and collaborative projects, The Bower will close its doors and take a hiatus. Artists Joey Fauerso, Leslee Fraser, and Michael Velliquette started the Bower in 2002 in a duplex home in The King William Arts District in San Antonio, TX and later moved to its current location, a loft on S. St. Mary's St. Since it's inception, the gallery has always been an extension of our living space, and for us. has redefined the way a work of art can be "at home" within a home by creating a highly personal environment for both artist and viewer. Thanks to The Bower for providing such an excellent roster of exhibitions!

Featured artists at The Bower indude: Jennifer Agricola, Chris Ballou, Amy Blakemore, Amanda Browder, Jenny Browne, Derrick Buisch, Scott Caihoun, Lance W. Oayton, Hazel Collins, David Coyle, Augusto Di Stefano, David Dunlap, Geoffrey Farmer, George Ferrandi, Brian Fridge, Michelle Grabner, Todd Hebert, Katy Heiniein, Jibangus Katrin Jurati, Young-Min Kang, Daniel Kelly, Andrew Kleindolph, Brad Killam, Jose Enrique Krapp, Marc Leblanc, Jani Leinonen, Stephanie Martz, Christian Maychack, John Neff, Helen Neumann, Pierre Obando, Ran Onuma, John Orth, Cruz Ortiz, Alain Park, Patrick Phipps, Mel Prest, Chuck Ramirez, Wendy Reid and Gayle White, David Robbins, Riley Robinson, Sterling Ruby, Riiko Sakkinen, Amy Saxe, Keiler Sensenbrenner, Ethel Shipton, Jeff Shore & John Fisher, Gyan Shrosbree, Gail Simpson, Scott Speh, Kirsten Stoltman, Ben Stone, Ian Sullivan, Katherine Syroboyarsky, Austin Thomas, Christian Uhl, Aaron Van Dyke, Curtis Whaley, Matt Wolff.

More from the Archive