Monday, June 15, 2009

Art Quickie #1

"Art Quickies" is the name I'm giving this series of arts review in which I will rather hastily respond to recent shows and/or art works around town.

Let's start the series off with a show from the newly and horribly named "Blitz" aka Capitol Hill Art Walk (2nd Thursdays)

Art Quickie #1 Noah Grussgott's Caution Kid at Grey Gallery and Lounge:

Oh the perils of life! Oh disenchanted youth! Oh the garbage the city leaves in it's wake! Combine these 3 well-traveled ideas and you have essentially Noah's show. Noah Grussgott is the kind of artist that seems to look around the city, sees discarded material and uses this material to play with. It feels a bit like, Hey I bet I can turn that old pile of stuff into something interesting. Is it important? Is it visually engrossing? Or new? Maybe if you haven't picked up a copy of Art Forum in the last 10 years it might be. But I've seen this thing a lot. Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of interesting work can be done with found materials, but this isn't it. I soured on the the whole show when I saw the piece, a almost entirely blank piece of paper with one sentence written in the middle "I can't be what you want me to be". The only response to that is "sigh".

Concrete shapes intended to look remind us of children, sitting a bench covered in caution tape, and other city debris? Looking at a rectangle-in-rectangle wall sculpture made of foam core? Yes these are the materials we build with, and yes these are materials used to caution us, kid, but no, I have nothing to really say about any of these ideas. Except that I like to make things. Well you can't get away with that if you have works like that aforementioned drawing. The only delight I had in the entire show was that one "kid" in the middle of the bench-the concrete covered entirely in Band-Aides.

Try covering that whole world in Band-Aides and you might have something.

Okay, I'll leave Noah alone now. Also, that wasn't much of a Quickie, was it? I'll try to do better next time. I must be grumpy.


sharon said...

Oh Ryan, hahaha! I looked at that piece and just thought "WHAT" - and then saw it in a mirrored font on the wall.

Honestly, I didn't mind the smaller wood-patterned ones. What did you think of the spray-painted pieces?

Blitz really is an unfortunate name for the art walk, it's true. Talk about a sigh.

Molo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Molo said...

@sharon The simpler, wood-patterned pieces are definitely the strongest work, which is interesting, because I believe they are also his earlier pieces in this body of work. I might be wrong about that. But I know I have seen them before, somewhere, and I enjoyed them a lot more without the context of the bleachers and the kid concrete sculptures which, the more I think about it, are quite cheesey. Perhaps a bit of cheese was the intent. (although the artist statement on Grey's website does not indicate that).

I plan on reviewing Greg's show with Quickie #2 here in a little while! (the spray paint pieces)

shauniqua said...

i think you mean Grey Gallery, dawg. jes' notin'!

Molo said...

@ Shaniqua - man i am just full of mistakes today, thanks yo! (probably I wrote Greg Gallery in party because Greg Boudreau was on my mind as well!)