October First Friday Picks

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 28, 2010

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This month at Jolie Laide, brushstrokes hatch out patterns, yarn explodes into knitted bedlam and insulation is caked in Neapolitan stripes. Though their choices of medium are different—paint, yarn, building materials—Andrew Holmquist, Mike Andrews and Easton Miller share a delight in dynamic textures and surfaces. Holmquist plays with the possibilities of paint application—grimacing faces bite into his textural paint blurs, with jagged teeth and sharp eyes reminiscent of de Koonings’ women. Andrews creates tangled tapestries—knitting mishaps and unhinged potholders raveled into outlandish quilts. His works are messy eruptions of yarn: Sheila Hicks’ wall hangings unspooled and grafted onto Grandma’s homemade sweaters or gigantic scarves knitted by Timothy Leary. And Miller has apparently riffled through fabric stores, Home Depots and coin-operated toy dispensers to turn up the textiles, polymers and keychains he incorporates into his painting-sculpture crossbreeds. Foam insulation crawls in contours over and under lattices of acrylic paint, rabbit’s-foot keychains dangle from canvases of basketball covering and red eyes glare out of a noodly plane of fireplace and pond sealants. Their triple stare is penetrating: This is art that encroaches on your space—and looks back at you. (Lauren Smith)

Through Oct.30.
Jolie Laide,
224 N. Juniper St.

It’s antihero time at Grizzly Grizzly—in video, two artists parody classic heroes with acts of mock-heroism against the non-monsters of clutter, trash and darkness. Chris Carroll’s short videos deal with the man/nature relationship, all ominous foreplay with no payback. In his Branta Branta series, a two-second clip of a goose attacking a goose decoy is stuttered to rock backward and forward; in repetition, the animal’s action is mesmerizing and poignant, eternal violence and eternal failure. In another video, the artist walks waist-deep in a river running under a small stone bridge, disappearing into the darkness under the bridge to light a flare, which burns out like Dirty Harry’s gun misfiring—promise dissipated. Madeline Stillwell’s video are of herself locked in mock-heroic battle with piles of architectural debris. It’s a mix of acrobatics, dance and slow-motion Hollywood disaster scene as the artist—done up as a trash-picking Tarzan—rolls on the floor amidst broken windows, plywood, dropcloths, ropes and plaster debris. The piece could stand in contrast to the great guerilla feminist performance artist Valie Export, who actually had to be quite nervy when doing things like walking into a full Munich art-house theater in crotchless pants and encouraging people to look at her (the title of that 1969 work, the point of which was to draw attention to women’s passive depictions in cinema, was Aktionshose: Genitalpanik, which somewhat entertainingly translates to Action Pants: Genital Panic ). Stillwell’s piece is almost a parody of Export, and kind of pitiful, perhaps purposefully so. But, like Carroll’s work, it still manages to feel oddly grand and mythic. (Roberta Fallon)

Through Oct. 31.
Grizzly Grizzly,
319 N. 11th St.

Sandy Kim and Logan White are living the dream—at least, the dream of many a teenage would-be photographer—doing photo shoots for indie bands and fashion catalogs and saving their more experimental stuff for the gallery. San Francisco-based Sandy Kim’s works are sometimes whimsical and sometimes gritty, but always suggestive of an intriguing greater context in which they were taken. Most enviably, she’s done multiple photo shoots on tour with post-punk musical duo Girls, following them down to SXSW and capturing every gloriously grungy, druggy moment of the trip. In general, she produces photographs that are unabashedly sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll with an element of mystery. Logan White’s photos are similarly provocative, but with a hazier aesthetic. The look isn’t dissimilar from that of an Urban Outfitters catalogue, which isn’t as trite as it sounds—she shot one of the retailer’s most recent lookbooks. Teen-dream status aside, her more interesting work is far from catalogue-friendly, deeply probing notions of gender and sexuality through artfully-orchestrated imagery: half-naked women spread-eagled in bathtubs, immersed in opaque smoke, and lithe young men pulling up thigh-highs or splashing around in string bikinis. In an interview with Re/Visionist magazine earlier this year, she was quoted saying: “I see the body as a messenger, and in decorating the body I can control the message.” This practice of White’s is eminently present in her work, in which bodies are constantly bedecked and contorted into gorgeous compositions. The opening reception will feature a live musical performance by Tough Knuckles. (Emily Crawford) 

Through Oct. 29.
Space 1026,
1026 Arch St.

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