Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Patterson/Barnes at 119

Hanging at Gallery 119 in downtown Jackson is a show of 33 pieces by the Florida based duo Gary Patterson and Marion Barnes. They collaborate on assemblages that typically focus on caricatures of blues and jazz musicians, but also delve into subjects of the rural life that is behind this type of music such as poverty and religion. Like the music that inspires the artwork there is a real entertainment aspect to the work. Found objects mixed with well crafted drawing and painting cause the viewer to stick around for a longer look moving the work beyond pure illustration. Patterson/Barnes' work has a close connection with one of my favorite artists, Benny Andrews. He also uses exaggeration and mixed media to depict African-American lifestyle and hardship. Here is a selection from the show...

Too tired to fight

Not in my backyard

Mississippi Blues

Just as I am

John Lee Hooker/I don't want to hear it

I'm glad you're gone

Don't get left behind

Bobby Rush/Turn on your love light

B.B. King

Michael Doucet and Dennis McGee/Alligator Bayou

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jack Garner at Fischer

Hanging at Fischer Galleries now is a body of work by Jackson artist Jack Garner. This Rothko inspired show is Jack's first solo exhibition. While there is a definite visual connection to Rothko's "multiforms" they are certainly not pastiche, but introduce his own sense of design and color combination. Jack also stays away from Rothko's grandiose canvases to a size that is not only more manageable for the artist, but for the viewer as well. Here is a selection from the show.

Reflected Persuasion

Jung And Old

End Then Begin

Bank On It

Friday, September 11, 2009

David West's Digital Cartography

Hanging right now at Belhaven's Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center Gallery is a body of work called Digital Cartography by Baton Rouge artist David West. The description of the show is pretty well stated on Belhaven's website and I don't think that there is any reason for me to try to rewrite it. It says... "David West combines traditional print techniques with digital media to create a space that exists partly in the analog world, and partly in the digital. By borrowing motifs from architecture, mapmaking, and computer code, this recent work highlights the influence of the digital age on traditional art making practices." David recently received his MFA degree from LSU in Printmaking; however, printmaking is only one of several mediums used to construct this work. One of the pieces is an interactive projection called "Shift into Place" which places the viewer into the artwork by recording a wall graphic and projecting it on the opposite corner of the space. Several of the other pieces combine printmaking with silkscreen applied to plexiglass creating a multi-layered graphic that, like the projection, can only be fully experienced in person. The industrial imagery such as telephone poles and maps contrasted with strong abstract designs create a sense of urban decay with a beautiful promise for the future. Here's some of the work, but again you should really see these in person. I believe that the show will be up through October.

"Shift into Place" Wall Graphic

"Shift into Place" projection

"Chiba City II"

"Dead Television Channels I"

"Digital Sprawl II"