First Friday Art Trail: November

Glenn Downing: One Way Ride (photocredit: Kristen Swartz)

At the LHUCA, Glenn Downing’s “One Way Ride: A travelling hoot‘nanny filled with hijinks and hilarity” at first seems, in keeping with its title, like a bit of an assault. The works are very large, unrestrained, scattershot in color, medium, and apparent style. His 2D hanging works (he calls them Drawn Things) are mixed media, incorporating marker, acrylic, pastel, oil, spray paint, and pen. In style, they fall barely on the favorable side of the line between child-like and child-ish. They come in a long tradition of works rejecting traditional conceptions of composition, painterliness, and draftsmanship in favor of a wilder, more imaginative and primary experience reflecting the seeming chaos and cartographic messiness of our experience and thought. If you can approach them as such, they turn out to be quite rewarding to look at.

Glenn Downing: One Way Ride (photocredit: Kristen Swartz)

They seem to reflect (presumably) his experience in a way that’s devoid of any pretense or attempt to catalog; each work is a large mix of letters, scribbles, stick figures, abstract marks, and myriad artifacts of his memory sitting where they will on the canvas. They read like a rambling, undigested, but most engaging story.

Zach Morriss: Pause 1-4, 2015 (Image courtesy of the artist)

The Texas Tech Sculpture show at LHUCA’s warehouse showcased the work of the program’s graduates and undergraduates. Zach Morriss’ 4 works collectively entitled Pause, though visually striking, are sufficiently reserved to allow multiple interpretations. Each is a model of a chair, subdivided into lateral strata cut out with a CNC machine—effectively a ‘pixelated’ 3D printing of a chair. I see them as a form-focused analog of the colorist still-life painters (think Morandi), breaking down an object into individually meaningless layers to draw attention to the form’s whole.

Zach Morriss: Pause, 2015 (Image courtesy of the artist)

Nicolle LaMere’s haunting installation piece Presence sees a paper umbrella/shelter hanging over a cast paper drapery in the shape of a chair with fabric, sitting in a bed of porcelain shards. It addresses itself to the starkness of the forms we make in the absence of our presence as well as the persistent loneliness of unused implements. Many of the works in this exhibition serve similar concerns. Despite being arranged by the students who produced the work (thus having as many curators as artists), the show presents beautifully and coheres very well.

Nicolle LaMere, Presence, 2015 (Image courtesy of the artist)

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