September 18, 2007

All Human Actions

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Dawn Kasper curatged a show at Cirrus Gallery called "All Human Actions", a title that I spontaneously remold in my head into "All Too Human... Actions". The Nietzschean twitch pointed me toward Kasper's apparent philosophical bent, an intuition that was confirmed when I spotted the Aristotle in her press release. Here's the best paragraph:

Action, and the role it plays in the careers of these three artists, is a theme of this exhibit. The works from these women weave through the possible Aristotelian causes of action - compulsion, habit, reason, passion, chance, nature and desire ? combining material logic and personal interests in a poetic search for connection.

I mean, once you whip out the Aristotle, you had better be able to fan the hammer of that big gun.

I wish that I had the presence of mind to video the tour of the show that Cirrus Owner Jean Milant gave me, so interesting and humorous in turns that I was thrown off taking my usual tiled panoramas. What initially seemed like a rambling friendship show rapidly radiated subtlies that prevented me from dismissing it offhand. The works of the three artists interlocked and the qualities of each seemed to indicate the qualities of the other, the lines and smooshes of scumbled color seemed to utilize the artwork as art material in the installation in a way that drew out the phantom word "Painting", as in "Action Painting" that was intimated in the curatorial statement.

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Mimi Lauter delivers up painting in her pastels: compulsion, check; habit, check; reason, check; passion, check; chance, ummmm; nature, check check check; and desire double check. Deep base chakra red all over in her work in the show.

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A detail of the crotch of the horns o' plenty. The lines scratch an itch. I look closer to search for a Chagall violinist flying out of a window in the pueblo.


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Kasper's titles ("People Say I'm the Life of the Party") are resonant for me. I take my titles from proximity blogposts and the philosophical/literary reverb in her work i like very much. In this one, song lyrics follow in my head: "...'cause I tell a joke or two...".

Her spider web lines are all over the show...

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I think I've seen this in a magazine recently, haven't I?

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Lucy Indiana Dodd. What a name. Once I stepped into this part of the installation, I was ready to ride the snake. To the lake. Robert, Jean's number one assistant, called them the "Three Horsewomen of the Apocalypse", a friendly elbow to the rib. I haven't met the artists but after I was this deep into the show, I felt as if I already did.

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Apparently, the install isn't complete until you sit in the polarized chairs. Macrame auras frame sight lines interrupted by a driftwood lingam, what's up with that?

Well, maybe it's better that way.

Deep inside and to the corner, a memento might serve as a skelton key to the installation:
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***

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Jean brought me back into the print shop to see Matthew Brannon print project now underway. Muy bien, Tio.

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I had seen in passing, the superb article on Guy de Cointet in this summer's ArtForum but I was unaware that Matthew had contributed to it. A great tribute to a unique and wonderful artist who passed away far, far too soon.

Jean tipped me off to the quiet poem inserted into the crease of the magazine:
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Posted by Dennis at September 18, 2007 5:27 AM

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