Friday, November 02, 2012

Group show at the Lawndale Art Center

 
Imperious - 2010 White Pencil on Black Paper 30" x 22"

A repost of ModernHouston.net back in September.

As the Big Show comes down at the Lawndale Art Center, the new works by Paolo Piscitelli, Angela Piehl, Lillian Warren, Candace Hicks and the "F" Team are coming up. Out of all these artists, three stood out. I was happy to see more work by Lillian Warren, which I reviewed during her show at Pearl MFA. But since I reviewed Warren; I would like to focus on Angela Piehl and Candace Hicks.

Angela Piehl creates these amazing drawings on paper that are a combination of chaotic forms with a wide range of organic material along with crystalline structures. I see fleshy shapes, floral objects, gnarled wood, pattern fabrics, fur, among a great deal of unidentifiable things. This kind of mixing of material mashed together like a chandelier is real characteristic of the New Baroque type art produced by Kehinde Wiley or Brendan Tang. This new breed of artists mixes the beautiful with the grotesque or gaudy to create a mash up of in your face aesthetics. Thinking back to all those art history classes I took in college, I knew that Piehl must be looking back in time for inspiration. I can easily see a comparison to the still life painter of the 15th century, Jan Brueghel the Elder. In both their works, you get a sense of growth and decay. Brueghel and Piehl center their images to create a large focal point, which incorporates small places of detail interests. I also noticed that Piehl’s objects have a similar structure to the contemporary artist Dale Chihuly, though her work is more random. Chihuly’s clustered glass works and Piehl’s drawings seem to hang in space, draping down and growing out in all directions.

Candace Hicks reinvents the mundane high school/college composition notebook into a powerfully beautiful art book. I respond to art that takes familiar forms or ideas then reinterprets the concepts in such a way that I take a second look at the object. I’m impressed that she embroiders the pages. This time consuming thread action only emphasizes the passion and meditation of her ideas.

She muses on the coincidences of words or phrases she happens to read in her selection of reading material. So, if she happens to read this review, she might come across a familiar phrase like “antique dental instrument,” but in this case the coincidence is intentional. In fact, before she even reads this article, Hicks likely would have anticipated me referencing one of her coincidental phrases, but how about a second of her phrases; Stuffed Mountain Lion.

6:30PM-8:30PM with an artist talk at 6PM. I mention Angela Piehl and Candace Hick because their works alone would treat your eyes and mind, but plenty of the other shows are worth your time and consideration. I hope you can drop by and see the show before September 29th.

ModernHouston.net has more pictures of the show.

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