Tuesday, June 04, 2013

PEPA PRIETO + DEAN MONOGENIS at Circuit 12 Contemporary

"From Far Away" | 48" x 72" | Acrylic on Wood | 2012

ModernDallas.net repost from where I wrote ...

When Circuit 12 Contemporary first started, they seemed to fill the gallery with a laundry list of artists in every show. You got to see a kind of scatter shot of art, but the gallery has found thematic trends which really defined a vision and aesthetic direction of minimal and abstract art. It seems now; they are starting to focus in on a few artists at a time, so we can get a more in depth view of each artist they show. This current show features just two painters; Pepa Prieto and Dean Monogenis in a show titled "Land Ho."

For me, I am glad Circuit 12 has chosen a more depth than breadth approach to an exhibition. This way, we can get to know these two artists better than if they were in a mass free-for-all. Both were in a show titled “Surface Pattern” last year at the gallery, which I even reviewed and took notice of Monogenis’ work. But somehow I completely missed Prieto’s paintings and that is why I think this show is so important. Prieto’s images are the kind of work that you get more interested in the more you see. Each painting is like a chapter in a novel, the more you read the more you begin to understand the artist. Individually her work is paint clustered together in expressive short and long strokes which rain down like fireworks. I see odd little landscapes populated with paint that represent a structure while living in the non-objective world. In the same way that the paradox of quantum physic explains the electron as being there and not there, Prieto manages to makes things just paint and represented object at the same time.

Although I found I enjoyed Prieto’s work, I really came to see more of Dean Monogenis paintings. That group show left me wanting for more, so when I discovers he was showing again at Circuit 12, I knew I had to see it and I wasn’t disappointed. Monogenis’ inventive scenes have a lot of little happenings that keep you busy looking around the canvas. Pattern, geometry, and sometimes impossible buildings interact with the organic environments. Paint as an object is sometimes celebrated by Monogenis and other times, hidden as representational objects. Like Prieto, your sense of being grounded in the real is pushed off balance.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a big group show with a variety of work, but I am glad Circuit 12 Contemporary has paused now and then so we can really get to know their artists. Without this show, I don’t think I would have appreciated Pepa Prieto’s paintings. And connecting her work to Dean Monogenis was a clear stroke of curatorial genius. The show “Land Ho,” comes down March 31st.

ModernDallas.net for more images.

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