Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Forrest Solis

Washing The Dishes
My art review repost for a show in March 2012

Forrest Solis’ show, titled “Self and Sex Series: What a Young Woman Ought to Know,” is focus on the girl to woman relationship and the contrast of images makes for a little bit of dark humor. When visiting Galleri Urbane’s presentation of Solis’ work, you will find yourself laughing and then thinking.

I remember fondly running across a publication titled “How to Become a Man,” a late 40’s publication which provided hours of entertainment. Forrest Solis references these Victorian throwbacks through the illustration style side of her paintings. The words provide boys and girls advice on “living well,” but the information is so dated that the misogyny or false science comes across loud and clear. Victorian ethics stress women as domestic and pure, Solis contrasts this sometimes with luscious images of her female model. Ironically, her model is mirroring the same roles that the illustration depicts. As things change, some things just stay the same. I see Forrest Solis continuing the conversation of the Feminist artists of the 1960’s, but with the benefit or tragedy in knowing there is no real utopia. Solis is aware that we can’t escape the past, but we can reshape the present to fit new norms. I see a lot of John Baldessari’s early work influencing Solis. Both artists use text and images to draw the view into a deeper conceptual experience. Thou, I would argue that Solis is unafraid to have you see beautiful painting technique. Her realistic portrayal of her model is painted with great care, kind of reminds me a little of Philip Pearlstein. The paintings are with her own two hands, like Pearlstein, which adds to the works soulful exploration. As much as I enjoy the conceptual artists, there is something to say about an artist that makes her own paintings. Just by spending time making the work, Solis can’t help but contemplate on the idea of the work.

Forrest Solis’ exhibition of paintings is very engaging and it would seem she is now being represented by the gallery, so we should be able to see where this body of work leads. Galleri Urbane will have Solis’ show up until March 24th. And while you are there, don’t be afraid to approach the gallery staff. I haven’t met a friendlier group running an art gallery. They are very approachable and I learn a great deal talking to them every time I drop in for a visit
See some more images at ModernDallas.net

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