reviews of frost and dorsch
Post #198 • January 23, 2004, 3:50 PM • 3 Comments
Abelardo Morell spoke on Tuesday evening in honor of his exhibition at the newly-renamed Frost Museum at FIU. (Warning: if you looked as ugly as FIU's museum website, you'd never leave the house.) Elizabeth Cerejido outdid herself with a knockout installation and the work was handsome. Morell talked about capturing a childlike sense of wonder in the act of photography, the simple pleasure of watching objects in the light. He produced a series of photographs of rooms that he had turned into giant pinhole cameras; impressive as they were, I preferred a series of closeups of objects interacting with water that conveyed that feeling of lazy, youthful fascination.
At Dorsch Gallery, Kerry Ware put up a meditative installation of giant blue circles punctuated with pegs, embedded into the drywall, which he then connected as if they were constellations. The lights were low and the effect was cosmic. Ware never fails to impress, but his installations tend to make me wish he was painting; he can do more with a rectangle than just about anybody in town, and this doesn't seem like a full use of his considerable talents.
Mirna Massengale's photographs of women called out to be pushed further. Feminist commentary escapes her - the dolled-up girls laying in the recycling bins were so heavy-handed as to be inoperative. Her sexier works were the strongest, and they would benefit from even more pumped-up color (the tinted bathwater was a nice touch), more makeup, more outrageous poses, and more skin.
Carolina Salazar has been working on intimate panels with detailed but flat renderings of people in oil, arranged with plant motifs on areas of white paint as if they had been collaged. Salazar's unpredictable but convincing sense of composition drives images that have all the hallmarks of skilled realism while playing around with some truly weird paint handling (some details seem to have been scratched out of the paint with a needle). Abstract shapes crash the figurative party at times, where they take on an unnerving psychological presence. The paintings simultaneously evoke reverie, reflection and tension. They invite and compensate repeated looking. The buzz in the gallery about them was positive - I overheard someone saying that she ought to be showing in New York. That would work out - the paintings look hip, but they're substantial as well.
UPDATE: Welcome, Modern Art Notes readers, and thank you to Tyler Green for the link.