SHARPLY REAL Leitzel’s Together Not Even a Whole.
In Marc Leitzel's sharply real scratchboard drawings in AS220's main gallery (115 Empire Street, Providence, through June 25), he depicts a tense moment between a couple in bed, a wind-blown woman wrapped in a cape, and a woman with tree branches and leaves bound up in her hair and opossums or rodents peeking out from the leaves. He also exhibits paintings and pastels of a soldier or a couple kissing, but his brushwork is a bit muddled, and these full color works don't match the scratchboard drawing's dramatic sense of light and dark.
In Leitzel's scratchboard I Need No Soft Lights to Enchant Me, sun glows down through leaves upon a woman, glinting off her long hair and the shoulders of her floral blouse, as she closes her eyes. And that sun really seems to shine because Leitzel's command of the technique creates the electric effect of scratching light out of darkness.
Also on view in the main gallery are Providence artist Rick Billings's sweet goth black-and-white pen drawings. A tree grows up through an old wooden chair as a decaying Victorian house lurks on a hill behind. Lampposts come alive and walk down a lane. A girl with wings grasps an iron gate at the bottom of a grassy hill with the Victorian house at the top. Billings's design of characters and the composition of the spaces is still developing, but he has a feel for creating charming dark worlds in which everything seems spookily alive.
Candita Clayton marks the one-year anniversary of her gallery Candita Clayton Studio (999 Main Street, unit 105, Pawtucket, through September 10) with "Creative Collective," a grab bag collection of work by 28 local artists that she has worked with in the first year or is beginning to work with now. The gallery, in a sunny loft space in the Hope Artiste Village, began when Clayton co-organized a show with Maya Allison, the co-director of 5 Traverse, who was looking for new projects between when the Providence gallery closed in February 2010 and she landed a curatorial gig at Brown's Bell Gallery last June (which Allison is now leaving to move to Abu Dhabi).
Clayton, whose background includes authoring the book Clean Your Home Healthy: Green Cleaning Made Easy, says, "I'm an accidental curator."
Much of the art here will be familiar if you've visited the gallery before — including nice pieces by Xander Marro, Corey Grayhorse, Andrew Moon Bain, and Allison Paschke. Among the new works are Neal Walsh's Untitled (Icon Study), a large bronze oil painting with red vertical scratches and yellow and brownish scuffs. In places the paint dimples, and black paint underneath shows through. It resembles the rusty side of a ship or water tank, but the effect is diffuse, like a gold fog.
BIOMORPHIC ABSTRACTION Perez’s Listen Up.
Lisa Perez's small, subtle, mod, biomorphic abstractions continue the work she exhibited at 5 Traverse in 2009. Listen Up is a series of ever bigger light gray oval boards stacked on the front of a charmingly lopsided darker gray square. On the square board, just behind the pile of ovals is a layer of bright yellow, like a shadow, but sunny bright against the grays.