Friday, March 12, 2010

The Student Artists at UH Are So Good it Scares Me

I wrote a short review of the Blaffer student show, which is up at 29-95. Please read it--my editor would like that.

It got shortened a bit, so I am putting the bits that got cut here, plus some additional photos. (I don't do this out of vanity--I don't think my writing is all that. I do it because I want to make sure all the artists I liked in the show get some exposure.)

Sebastian Foray
Sebastian Foray, Where Do You Think You Are Going, ink on paper

Sebastian Foray
Sebastian Foray, Where Do You Think You Are Going, ink on paper

Sebastian Foray wins the award for tallest piece in the show. “Where Do You Think You Are Going,” an ink drawing on paper, goes up two stories, floor to ceiling in Blaffer’s tallest gallery. The drawing is of a particularly non functional ladder—the distance from the rungs seems to increase exponentially from the top, doubling with each rung. Otherwise, though, it looks like a well-crafted ladder! It could be a metaphor art itself—beautiful but useless.

Ted Closson
minicomic, Ted Closson

Ted Closson’s piece is a minicomic, and like many of the pieces in the show, it not only is an interesting piece in its own right, but also an interesting challenge for the curator. The finished product of a comic is the printed story. So you can frame the pages and put them on the wall, but it’s not ideal. You are seeing the art but not in the form it is supposed to be experienced. It’s a little like putting film stills on a museum wall to represent the whole film. Likewise, museums usually display books or printed ephemera in vitrines—separated from the viewer by glass. That, too, would prevent the viewer inthis case from truly experiencing Closson’s work, which is a narrative and is meant to be read. The compromised by putting two pages of art on the wall (but not originals, curiously—the drawings were created electronically, so there is no pen and ink original to display) with several copies of the comic itself on a plinth, available for viewers to read. (Fortunately, it was a very short story, so you didn’t have a crowd of readers blocking traffic.)

And here's another view of the Mauricio Lazo piece mentioned in the 29-95 piece:

Mauricio Lazo
Mauricio Lazo, Loteria, archival ink jet

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