Laura Owens, Keltie Ferris, Rachel Rossin, and Trudy Benson are exploring hybrid paintings that rival sculpture in their tactility, illusion, and physical depth.
This two-gallery extravaganza takes up the tricky gambit of featuring “artists whose work involves a methodical and controlled process of creating seemingly freeform or random daubs and spots.”
It seems a little unfair to encumber an exhibition with a title like OK Great REALLY this is ALSO RIDICULOUS. With its overtones of exasperation and disparagement, the phrase sends confusing signals about what’s in store and how seriously to take it. But the show hooks you in an instant and holds you for a good, long time.
Memories fade. That’s the one good reason, as far as I can see, to compile an end-of-year list. It’s sometimes startling to retrace what attracted my attention over the course of a year; it is also instructive to determine where such a miscellany of shows fits in with ongoing areas of interest, and which ones, in hindsight, merited the time it took to review them.
Nothing new under the sun? Does it really matter? “The past,” as William Faulkner wrote, “is never dead. It’s not even past.” The past cannot be ignored, disdained, used up or discarded; it’s the ligand that strings us all together.
Still in her twenties with three solos under her belt, Trudy Benson has been garnering a lot of attention, and it’s easy to see why. Her raucously impastoed paintings, as luscious as they are jarring, are abstraction as sheer ebullience — ambrosia for anyone open to the innate pleasures of color, texture, line and shape.
Three current exhibits focusing on recent MFA recipients show that painting is still being utilized by young artists for experimentation, even if they have to totally destroy the canvas with a hammer or fill it with cement.