Monday, February 11, 2008
If you've been reading me for any length of time at all you know that all you have to do to get me to come to your gallery is to put Sebastian Lemm on your wall.
If you've been reading me for any length of time you'll know that if there's one thing that'll guarantee my visit to a show it's the work of Sebastian Lemm. And so it was that I visited Peer Gallery's group show, Grace where I found a number of nice surprises along with Lemm's usual solid work.
It's odd though. This time Lemm's work didn't immediately grab me. After a second pass at it though, what he was doing began to unfold in unexpected ways. The artist's deconstruction of the natural is a thrilling challenge to the viewer. Lemm's manipulated photographs follow one of the best (and really, only) art rules: Tell the lie well to get to the truth.
Suzanne Opton's photographs of U.S. soldiers' heads at rest are striking. It's as if gravity, for a moment, is dressing their wounds. There's a sense of both relief and vulnerability in the photos. The hunch that that state won't last make the portraits heartbreaking.
Susan kae Grant
Susan kae Grant's pigment prints won me over immediately. Anytime an artist reminds me of Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter, both in theme and shadow, they win. Susan kae Grant won.
Melissa Fleming's ghost oceans were right up my alley. These chromogenic prints capture what it feels like to watch the ocean at night, alone. Beautiful and private.
In direct opposition to the colors and hues of Flemming and kae Grant's work was that of Jason Horowitz. I know I shouldn't have liked this c-print as much as I did, but I don't care. The tension between the repellant and attractive nature of the photo was too delicious to resist. I kind of couldn't stop looking at the damn thing.