Thursday, March 22, 2012

Import

Eric Eley - Peigneur1 dry pigment, ink, color perncil, acrylic, graphite on paper - 30" x 44"
My art review of a show in September 2011
The greatest "import" to Dallas Texas is it's artists. Eric Eley, John Frost, and Ryder Richards are all transplants to Dallas and Ro2art Uptown Gallery at West Village has an excellent group show of their work titled "Import". Intellectual, deceptive, simplistically crafted work but high on concept; gallery artist Ryder Richards found the perfect artists pairing to his work. I found it interesting that their personal stories of coming to or returning to Dallas also united these artists.

The first time I saw John Frosts' work was at the Old Jail Art Center, way out in Albany, TX. I was impressed with the repetition of simple forms. Some of those pieces were in the Ro2 “import” show, like the little houses being pushed by a broom, titled “Wake”, which reminds one of the wastefulness of urban sprawl. And from his statement, I am sure my assumption is pretty close to his meaning. Frosts' work communicates ideas of excessiveness and the magnitude of our, global and polluted predicament, through repetition of objects.

Eric Eley creates a digital referenced world made through paintings and sculptures. I see a mix of muted colors referencing objects from a Tron like movie, or maybe scenes from an old Atari flight simulator. Whatever is really there, Eley uses geometric shapes with incredible skill and movement, that as an observer, I find hard breaking away from his works. Not to be crass with description, but Eleys' mixed media sculpture, “Distant Blast” is just plain cool. The thin red strings don’t just accent the quirky stand that holds this city like structure on the top but these strings seem to bring a computer-aided design and drafting program to life.

Ryder Richards 7mm super gold leaf, copperleaf gunpowder graphite on paper artwork is elegant in design and shape. I was intrigued by his mixture of leafing and the application of gunpowder. His process leaves behind a highly graphic effect contrasted by a more random roughness. Richards work reminds me of Baroque Art, because these images seem to directly reference Classical Antiquities.

Some of the best art exhibitions are those organized by artists. And when I first saw these three artists together at Ro2, I didn’t fully understand John Frost and Eric Eleys' relationship to Ryder Richards work, but I knew Richards intended for us to draw a connection. After further investigation of Richards past work, the relationships became clearer. With fresh eyes, I came back to the images and objects at Ro2 and I saw the intellect connection along with the connective craft of the work. This is the type of show that you look and then look again, because you are going to miss something the first time.
For more images of the show check out ModernDallas.net.

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