“Stars Under the Sky” is the title of the latest exhibit curated by Melissa Sammarco at the three room gallery over the Greenwich Jazz Club in Walnut Hills.
Recognized multimedia abstractionist Mary Barr Rhodes shows several works. Glittering iridescence dominates two canvases in the middle room. No recognizable elements here as the stubble studded surface could lead one to imagine that they are viewing a fragment of lunar surface. “Under currents III” has some beautiful effects that will challenge one to explain the artist’s processes.
A larger work, “Devine Flow III, experiments with combinations of media and textural overlays and toys with the suggestive elements of insect forms in an atmospheric environment. Small vaguely recognizable elements suggest behemoth moth shapes. Iridescent foil chips in orange are reminiscent of fireflies flitting upwards into a rust color atmosphere. Deep blue fragments emerge curling out from a silvery mercury miasma that lays luridly in the imagination. Unconfined to the surface plane, these various shapes are imaginatively allusional to insect gestures in flight on a warm summer night. A high gloss polyurethane seal finishes the surface.
Homage to revolutionary rappers is the motivation of a series of portraits by Shawn Shiveley. 24″x30″ posterized cropped heads of selected personas are dab painted over surface collages of media headlines invoking encapsulated messages of these phenom rap groups. Inspectah Deck, and Reakwon of Wu-Tang Clan are featured as well as the likenesses of Jay Z, and U God, floating over messages for which their rap is renown.
Other musical artists depicted in this exhibit are two by Grace Haggards, including a severely cropped acrylic portrait of Miles Davis, depicted in light values on a solid black background, his pensive expression piercing the viewer. Though redundant of the black velvet kitsch, this work has more authenticity and visual impact than the large portrait of Santana by the same author.
Jeremy Buck Lewis shows several grid canvases, the grid being the primed canvas seemingly laid over a teaming sea of random elliptical doodle patterns. These forms are analogously colored in acrylic blues, grays and flesh tans and ochres. The canvas edge is besmudged with process or age, or just unrepentedly unclean. Lewis also shows an India ink on mylar drawing with all over pattern of graffiti forms, selected shapes randomly inked in.
Kevin B. O’Neill shows a series of canvas squares 12×12 and 24×24 in colorful acrylic imagery. Blue whales, black eyed pandas, mythical marine creatures frolic in marine gameland. Another depicts a space-suited character evading annihilation on the ledge of a lunar setting. These are colorful, playful paintings without real threat and reflect an illustration inclined to the manga manner.
Finally, photographs by Jens Rosenkrantz embrace the wonder of clouds and the beauty of expansive sunsets. “Light Rain” was my favorite, a beautiful black and white rhapsody of tree reflections and the expanding ripple effect of rain in a shallow puddle surface, further abstracted over broken grasses. Rosenkrantz’s compositions are calming and serene and they are always a pleasure to encounter.
There are several additional pieces not commented on in this review. This exhibit is a general opportunity to be introduced to some new faces but not a must see. Gallery can be made available for viewing only during times concurrent with the jazz club hours.
Marlene Steele paints and teaches in Cincinnati Ohio.