Post #410 • November 16, 2004, 6:53 AM • 18 Comments
"There's Nothing Wrong With Being Beautiful," says the title of the group show at Ambrosino Gallery, but by itself it won't get you respect. The work in it seemed pleasant enough, but none of it blew me away. James Lecce painted the first one below. I usually like his work quite a bit, but this one didn't speak to me; I prefer his more intensely colored pieces. I lost the piece of paper that had the names of the following two artists. I'm not going to feel good critiquing them until somebody supplies their identities.
Ambrosino has taken over the old Ingalls space, so he has the room to put up a third show. A.A. Rucci is now incorporating men into his pieces, belying the notion I've heard kicked around that his work has a misogynistic angle; he has turned headlessness into an equal-opportunity affliction. While I wonder how much gas the whole decapitation theme has in it, it seems to be moving along for him at the moment. These images had a disturbing, delightfully oddball attitude and I enjoyed the garish use of color.
These two shows and Wharton's shared similar traits: precision and polish that one might characterize as "slick," palettes that surfed the frontiers of taste, and mild edginess. My tolerance for these qualities is waning as I associate them more and more with local vapidness. I can take pleasure in this kind of work, but after a protracted run of it I often wish for something greater.
Or even just something forlorn or troubled. Anybody know where I can find a Giacometti nearby?