Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Annette Lawrence Installation. photo credit for all images: Kevin Todora repost of my article.

I love works on paper. Ever since I saw a Degas show at the Art Institute of Chicago back in the early 90’s, it occurred to me the that a piece of paper with medium could stand as a finished work. I have often seeked out shows that deal with drawings, paintings, or even sculptures that use this material. The group show at Erin Cluley and most the works in Annette Lawrence’s show at Conduit Gallery are a works on paper bonanza.

When I first walked into the main gallery of Conduit, I was instantly drawn to Lawrence’s drawings on paper, unframed and pinned to the wall. Each paper with her calendar drawings were exposed to the elements of the gallery. So, moisture had slightly misshapened the paper. The pins in the paper showed evidence that these pieces were hanging somewhere else. The material of paper and how it changes was as much about time and history as her conceptual drawings. I think her paper pieces in particular worked on several levels.

When visiting Erin Cluley, the first three pieces that grabbed my attention were works by Nicholas Mathis. The ink on paper drawings were quite lyrical and imaginative. Elements of wind and nature swirl around the image. I enjoyed all the detail work and how he kepted you looked around the piece. I flipped threw his book of small drawings. It was a real joy. Somehow interacting with his work in this way made me feel transported into his studio. It felt informal and intimate.

Zoe Charlton’s collage pieces struck me at first as a little campy, but I wasn’t allowed to let go and so I returned to them. My first impressions faded and I felt that I might be looking at a more complex narrative structure that was filled with dream and political elements. I came away wanted to learn more about this artist. Charlton has an MFA out of UT Austin and examples of her work online make me hope to see another show by her soon.

I was happy to see more work by Josephine Durkin. Her blue and green abstract wall sculptures are quite playful. The simplicity of JM Ritz’s lines to form a face was another attractive group of works. Lauren Sleat took her line for a walk across her paper, Rene Trevino wall papered the sky, Grace Hartigan reminded me of Marc Chagall, and Zanne Hochberg reminded me of Art Brut. Over all, Erin Cluley put together an interesting show and I wish I had time to see it again.

Unfortunately, this weekend is the closings of both the Works on Paper at Erin Cluley and Annette Lawrence: Standard Time at Conduit Gallery. If you have missed Conduit Gallery’s three exhibits this month then drop by early to see them. However, if you want to stay out late Saturday night then go to Erin Cluley, Galleri Urbane, The Public Trust, and Liliana Bloch Gallery. All these galleries are having closing receptions, so you have a good reason to get out and see some art before you miss them.

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