Carol John’s paintings explode with such an exuberance of color and pattern they seem capable of reaching through Poem 88‘s storefront windows and pulling a bystander inside.
Chrysanthemums, ice cream cones, eyeballs, combs, shapes reminiscent of Australian Aboriginal art and references to Pop Art sizzle with energy and the electric vibrations of complementary colors in the large oil paintings and small works on paper in Oh, on view through July 5.
The Athens artist carefully orchestrates the intricate compositions into controlled chaos in such paintings as Wheel of Wow and Summer Burst. Flower Bomb, an oil paint on paper work, reminds me of a strung-out Christmas garden, with its strung-up light bulb shapes, red and green palette and flower and plant imagery. Like Wheel of Wow, it is less chaotic than some of the others because John builds the composition around a central focal point — here, the red flower — on which the eye can rest. The gridded repetition of smaller bulbs also contributes a sense of order.
Those who find the large paintings overwhelming might prefer Numbers 1-18, the small oil-on-paper works. They are easier to digest by virtue of their smaller scale and the unitary boundaries created by their frames. Though wonderful individually, together they make a commanding whole.
John was a punk rocker during the ’70s, but the hallucinogenic effect of intense, saturated color in Oh seems more Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds than the Clash’s London Calling. Oh is a happy show that definitely left me feeling more up than down.
Delanie Jenkins at Stan McCollum Gallery
Sometimes, an artist’s practical solutions become the creative fodder for works that follow. This is so for Delanie Jenkins, who uses adhesive tape to inform and construct refined, indisputably elegant works rooted in Minimalist and Conceptual Art in Mixed Tape Transpositions, at Stan McCollum Gallery through July 19.
Jenkins has long used little pieces of green tape as temporary markers for the support wires for the delicate red radish roots in her installation series Radix, exemplified by Radix V 2014, which meanders up and across one wall at McCollum. Each time she finished with the marking tapes used in her installations she would stick them onto sheets of paper for future use. As the sheets of leftover tape pieces grew in number and size, a new creative direction was born in which tape became the material for both “drawings” and sculpture.
For Red and Yellow Pearl III and Orange Pearl III, two gridded pieces in the series of framed works hung opposite Radix V 2014, Jenkins painted the tape (now of archival quality), then drew a series of running lines down it with watercolor pencils. Then she cut the tape into small pieces. Instead of being the guide to installing an artwork, the tape became the work itself.
This systemic subdividing of the tape stuck down is pleasingly problematic: the pieces refuse to stay down, curling up ever so slightly, serendipitously breaking up the lines and references to a grid and creating a random texture. These imperfections make the work more interesting than yet another cleverly constructed minimalist manipulation. The unexpected combination of a common material and serendipity makes the idea stick.
Click here to view more photos.