Thursday, January 11, 2007
I stopped by Pluto--a couple blocks from the BMA--this past weekend to grab a second look at Norf*ckneasters, a lively show of paintings and drawings curated by Nicole Eisenman. The show--which runs through February 24th--includes artists Rosanna Bruno, Dana Carlson, Andrea Champlin, Jennifer Coates, Nicole Eisenman, Sarah Peters, and Wendy White. Not only are there some wonderful pieces, but there are two slammin' collaborative paintings.
You've heard me go off here in the past year about Bruno, Eisenman, Coates, and White but trust me when I tell you that the other three have some solid tricks up there sleeves. I've been a fan of Champlin's for a long time and Sarah Peters has an upcoming show at Winkelman / Plus Ultra in June.
The real revelation in the show though was Dana Carlson. This is a public admission of sorts. I've known Carlson's work for about a year or so, but I haven't gotten it at all. I always wanted it to be something else, an unusual internal gesture for me when it comes to reacting to art. I either like something or I don't. It's not a complicated thing. This got complicated. Let me pause here and say that I love how this process works sometimes. The last time it happened was with Howard Hodgkin so Carlson is in good company. Anyway, at one point over the year I started to notice her backgrounds, and then I fell in love with them. I still didn't get the paintings though. I thought to myself, "Why doesn't she just get rid of everything else and stop the painting when she's done with the backgrounds." Um, no. I couldn't have been more misguided in my thinking. When I looked at the first painting at Pluto, the background worked it's way toward me and carried with it all that was on top of it. Simple as that . . . finally. The painting had come home in all it's overloaded and slightly caustic beauty. There was only one thing to say, and it was "Oh."