A R T L E T T E R
The Timely Magazine of Art
|#22||<!>previous/ next>!> Artletter index||February 1, 1996|
Get your ARTLETTER Anthology 1995! Catch up on what you missed or archive for posterity. Send 5 postage stamps for Issues 1-19 today! Todd Ramsell at Lawndale 3/1 Comic books in art galleries always remind me of aging rock stars composing symphonies, i.e. abandoning their talents for an ambition that is dubious at best. "Low" art is better than "high" art anyway, which is why the intelligensia has to denigrate it as "low" and the hoi polloi couldn't care less. Which isn't to say that I didn't like Ramsell's work; it's inventive, entertaining and weird, but I don't want to stand around Lawndale to read it.- Mark Allen Michael Kennaugh at Sally Sprout 2/24 It impossible not to see the strong influence of Cy Twombly in Mr. Kennaugh's work. The best painting, Bubo, seems to be furthest from the Twomblyesque grasp and shows something of a personal abstract dialog in which the artist uses the formal language to create a visual diary. Chunky yet fragile, a cloud of awkward black lines seems to speak with a somber, melancholic tone. Bubo is the only painting which holds its raw canvas; in other works the white spaces seem flat and incoherent. The show has an overall freshness. -Louise Cranston Hines and his Circle at Art of this Century, 414 W. Gray 2/26 Intensely relevant to life in 1996. These paintings use supergraphics (those giant geometric stripes and curves used to brighten up dull institutional buildings; Kroger on Montrose has a beauty on its south wall) as a metaphor for the failure of the progressive, utopian ideals associated with abstract art. Usually a gallery is a separate little world, but in this show what's inside the gallery and what's outside on the street are the same; there is no break in the continuity between the subject and it commentaries. Robert Montgomery's giant watercolors on canvas fade romantically; Jeff Elrod's vicious older paintings amputate slices of giant curved stripes as if they were seen in bad, close-cropped snapshots. Giovanni Garcia-Fenech's brilliantly dull landscapes show the empty sky, anonymous buildings and discouraged vegetation of urban scenes flattened into affectless pastel abstractions. Accompanied by a good, informative low-budget catalog.- B.D. Address letters to: Bill Davenport, 801 Tulane St., Houston TX 77007 Mail subscriptions $15/year. Look for Artletter 23 on February 15.