They came, they saw, they showed.
As it wound down its run towards its final weekend, the group show
entitled "The Conquerors" at Artspace seemed to be crying out for a final close
look. So I was more than happy to oblige.
Mark Bodnar wins the Tim Burton award for his figures set in generic, yet seriously strange landscapes. Bodnar's subjects are typically involved in a kooky and mysterious contemplation of their next move in any given scene all the while casting a wary eye about with Betty Boop-like beepers. His observations stand as an eccentric looking glass into a world in which your own emotions take flight couched in disowned, unloved cartoon characters trying to find their own place in the world.
Mari Inukai's paintings are
sumptuous in their technique and direct expressive qualities. Her underlying sense of sentiment and desire
stand like beacons to ground her painterly figures in a realm which seems as
influenced by Vermeer and John Currin as Manga and Anime. I felt mesmerized by her tactile paint
handling and strong emotive yearnings.
Bonnie Brenda Scott produced "Reactor"
a large mural which dominates a full wall in the gallery. The work is composed of writhing figures rendered
in cerebellum-like matter that wind their amoeba shapes across the wall's expanse
in a flurry of orange, pink, and blue. Smoke like shapes flutter up above and her
shapes seem at once to be menacing and contemplative as if engaged in some
weird conversation to which we are not fully privy.
Bill McRight sticks to black
and white imagery exhibiting a loose amalgamation of monsters hanging out and
doing scary beasty things. They also cavort a little though and also do things
like ride motorcycles. He purposefully
leaves the work a bit vague so that you're forced to fill in the blanks. Yet the
strong graphic presence of his pieces (probably the boldest in the show) propels
you into a dialogue that leaves you feeling like the work is always going to somehow
win the battle on its own terms.
Liz McGrath has the only sculptures
in the show exhibiting a trio of flying bunnies elongated in mid-leap (ala
Barry Flanagan style) though hers are clothed in odd, hand-stitched, quasi
military uniforms. She also has a pair of boxed relief works which depict an
elephant and a mosquito in an elaborate ceramic framed and velvet lined animal
reliquary. They stand out like some sort of carnival sideshow attraction at
once mystically repellent yet so elaborately crafted that they command
The Conquerors at Artspace
September 4 -
Bloggers We Love
Bridgette Redman and Lansing Theater
Drew McManus' "Neo Classical" at the Partial Observer
Marc Moss (Missoula, MT artist)
Mary Louise Schumacher's "Art City"
Other Great Sites
American Composers Orchestra
Arts & Letters Daily
Center for Arts and Culture
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive
National Arts Journalism Program
NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera
NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater & Musical Theater
New Music Box: American Music Center
USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program