Thursday, January 14, 2016

MYSTERIOUS MUCK - GROUP SHOW


Mathew Zefeldt

ModernDallas.net repost of my article.

An argument has been circulating that this current generation has far reaching breadth of knowledge, but lack much depth in knowledge. So, if this argument rings true, then you would start to see this reflect in the art being produced. Well, it is true that many of the artists in the current group show at Circuit 12 Contemporary cover a lot of breadth, I still see some meaningful depth behind their images.

Breadth knowledge is reflected in this collage society which we have made through cut-out and ready-made objects in the visual arts, through music in rap and electronic dance, and the grab bag of information through the internet and products through globalization. So, when you see a work by Matthew Craven smashing Op art patterns with images of ancient art objects; you wonder how these two worlds work together. But we don’t question when an ancient object is pulled out of a dig site and plopped down in a minimalist museum space. Craven juxtaposition is no less stark than the act of moving an object out of it’s context. Just a little more obvious, but it did get me thinking about museums and their relations to an object. If Craven is more about the global collage, Mathew Zefeldt is more about the internet collage. Well at least computer images. Minecraft come to mind when I look at Zefeldt’s work or better yet, the bitmap quality computer files from my old VGA monitor on my PC clone. Only Zefeldt’s images grab me and hold me. He uses what looks to be ancient inspired art objects and mixed in with random game elements. A bit cartoony, which brings me to Ryan Travis Christian, like Matthew Craven, he plays of the pattern Op, but he mixes cartoon elements rather than ancient references.

Susy Oliverira had a quirky c-print piece titled Hot Wet Planet with suggestive symmetry to boot. Although this was very leafy and green, I was left feeling unclear where she got the images to make this object. However, her exploration of the natural and artificial dichotomy come across clearly. Jennifer Nehrbass takes a classic James Rosenquist approach, but makes the work charged and a bit uncomfortable. Landon Graves carefully dissects his subject into parts then represents a clean, almost sterile representation. Nina Chanel Abney work is more topical in that the painting is about relationships of power imbalance. Issues of race and violence weigh heavy in her work, but the works could be a painting ripped from the headlines today or fifty years ago. Chanel Abney, like Craven uses collage of the now and the past and ties them together to pull out more meaning.

Like all group shows, it is hard to talk about all the artists, so I highlighted a few I remember catching my eye, however, other worthy mentions was Evan Gruzis, Taylor Baldwin, Tilman Hornig, and Nick Van Woert. I will definitely be dropping by for a second look. After all, the show will be up until January 30th of 2016, so I will have time to further contemplate these artists’ works.

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