Thursday, October 18, 2007

Art Observations (from a few weeks ago)

A few weeks ago, before I either got a job or started being out of town a whole lot, I went to check out some September gallery shows in the Mid-Wilshire gallery district. I saw a lot of painting, some interesting, some a rest for the eyes, some that made me reach for the contact re-wetting drops buried in my purse.

But, one thing I got out of the experience (and wasn’t expecting) was some help with my own work, via two artists on display: Allison Miller (at ACME through October 20) and Andrew Schoultz (in the project room at Roberts & Tilton). Both artists make paintings/2D work that is highly attractive and dynamic when seen from the other side of a gallery room. However, I noticed that when I got up close to their pieces, my interest was held by the diversity of their mark-making: huge, mushy brushstrokes next to teensy, precise ones; large areas of washy color, that, on closer inspection, are infected with small bits of collage and drawing. These contrasts in scale allowed me to return to each piece again and again, to study them further and to make new discoveries in the tiny details.

I have recognized the lack of such attention-grabbers in my own work but wasn’t able to articulate the cause of it until I looked at Miller and Schoultz. So thanks for the tiny window onto better art-making, fellow artists.

(top image, Andrew Schoultz, Slave Ship Para Trooping Into Chaos, acrylic and collage on canvas, 72"x60", 2007)
(bottom image, Allison Miller, Sunrise, oil and acrylic on canvas over panel, 48"x60", 2007)

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