Adventureland

By GREG COOK  |  January 15, 2014

Andrew Collins’s oil and acrylic painting Temple, Portal, Totem II is a glossy black abstraction with matte black chevrons on the corners. It recalls Frank Stella’s early abstract stripe paintings from the 1950s, but it’s more hard-edged, shiny, juicy. Other abstractions include Leah Piepgras’s psychedelic inkblot Wanting (Pleasure) Pillow Cases and Jon Verney’s splashy, abstract black-and-white prints that resemble the cosmos or nuclear blasts.

Emily Sorlien exhibits digital images of dead, plucked roosters suspended like puppets in front of reproductions of old master landscapes. The effect is both silly and piercing — like Renaissance paintings of Christian martyrs. Claudia Cron offers antiqued, nostalgic photos of old, empty carnival rides and attractions.

There is an abundance of lovely style here — polished and impeccably displayed. A lot of it seems like the beginning of things, ideas emerging. And, well, there’s nothing wrong, exactly, but perhaps everybody’s a little too well-behaved? I find myself craving some messy misstep, a sort of frisson or friction or spark.

Follow Greg Cook on Twitter @AestheticResear.

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