I may be holed up in front of a computer most days, but Thursday night I joined the buzzing/buzzed crowds for First Thursday openings. It was hot, crowded, and impossible to spend quality time with any art, but still, I had a blast and peeped some great work.
Enrique Chagoya at Gallery Paule Anglim. Chagoya showed lots of nice prints and codexes, as usual, but a new series of tsunami/flood/infinite space paintings on canvas were pretty spectacular. I really liked this one, with the text, in gothic script: “illegal alien’s guide to everything,” in which two dark-skinned men sit atop an old-school-landboat-turned-ship, in a desolate flooded area. I’ve always been a fan of the Bay Area Abstract Figurative movement, so it’s appealing and funny to see David-Park-esque paint handling in service of new topical paintings.
Hung-Chih Peng, also at Gallery Paule Anglim: Excerpts From The Holy Bible in Arabic Translations, 2006
A dog “writes” text on a wall (of course it’s licking up text written in food, and the video is played backwards). A great example (of the many) Chinese artists who use text. Brilliant!
Optical paintings usually make me think “Stoner Art,” but Barbara Takenaga at Gregory Lind Gallery commands the paint, as well as effects of luminescence that her finely crafted paintings deliver. Another large painting in a circular format made me realize that what I do — at least, the use of the mandala form in Dark into Light — may not be so different after all.
Finally I went to a delightful dinner hosted by Megan Wilson, where I was in awe of Megan’s four-year-(a)long installation, employing everything in her house and then some (lamps from her travels in Indonesia, the dainty paper quilling that appears in her works on paper, and even an air freshener she picked up in Manila during the Galleon Trade art exchange—it’s the orb below, atop the stacks of colorful substances, some of which I think is hair gel). Megan’s decorative installation was like dessert for my eyes.