First stop: Carroll and Sons Gallery.
You might know Karl Stevens from his show in the Hallway Gallery last month, or from his weekly comic that ran in the dearly departed Phoenix. For his show in the Hallway Gallery he plastered both gallery walls with the originals from dozens of his comic pages. I’ve been a fan of Stevens’ work ever since I ran into him at the Massachusetts Independent Comic Expo (MICE) a number of years back. His comic work features witty and cynical wordplay combined with impeccably cross-hatched pen and ink drawings.
I know Stevens as a comic strip and graphic novel artist, so it is especially exciting to see his paintings on display in the gallery alongside his pen and ink drawings. The show is refreshingly process-based where Carroll and Sons usually only exhibits extremely polished final works. Stevens’ large-scale paintings are hung in juxtaposition to smaller studies on paper.
Sometimes the paper study is a sketch and sometimes the subject of the painting is drawn from a panel of one of his comic pages. My favorite pieces are where three or four variations of the same figure hang together. No one element can be said to be the final or most important work even though the paintings are physically larger. Stevens’ comics are most certainly fine art objects and I am very happy to see them treated as such.
Next stop: Miller Yezerski Gallery
Michael Oatman’s large and sometimes uniquely shaped collages were quite arresting.
I’ve seen Sarah Malakoff’s photos online before, but their technical precision is even more beautiful in person.
Next stops: Bromfield Gallery & Steven Zevitas Gallery
Adria Arch exhibits doodle scribbled made concrete in a series of plexi-glass forms. My favorite was clear plexi, so only the thickness of the plexi’s edges and its shadow against the wall defined the form. I also liked some works next door by James Sterling Pitt that are similar in that they are also very flat sculptures that rely on edge and show for definition.
Next stop: Outside?
It was an unusually nice night tonight and some art took advantage of the weather by taking to the street. Artist Tinsley Hammond and some lovely assistants showed her paintings in a pop-up show titled The Floating Collection. The event was put on by Alternative Spaces, a group that is working to open up new options for showing work that are less exclusive and follow a more open set of rules.
Last stop: Gallery Kayafas
I loved N. W. Gibbons’ “Agricultural Tintypes.” My favorites are all greenhouse scenes – there’s something about the combination of diffused greenhouse light and the idiosyncrasies of the tintype form that is simply dreamy.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for a good multi-panel image. Check out Gibbons’ website for some more diptych/triptych gems.
Danny Custodio’s series “Trees” features trees that have been altered into usual forms by the urban spaces in which they grow. I liked the whimsical gestures of the trees, but I was a little let down by the print quality after the beautiful precision of Gibbons’ tintypes. You can see more of these fantastical trees at Custodio’s website.
I’d say it was a good night. Did you see anything you loved that I didn’t catch?