Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rejoicing in Rejection - Salon des Refusés 2011 at M2 Gallery

by Dean Liscum

Whenever you have 404 artists submitting a total of 972 works of art to adorn the walls of the Lawndale Art Center, the realities of time and space dictate that somebody's gonna get left out. This year the Lawndale staff chose Larissa Harris, a curator from Queens Museum of Art, to make the hard choices. She selected 121 pieces of art from 73 artists. The rest got rejected.

For the second year in a row, Emily Sloan decided to turn rejection into redemption and hosted the second Salon des Refusés. She invited artists who didn't make Lawndale's The Big Show 2011 to turn defeat into defiance and exhibit in her Salon des Refusés 2011 show at M2 Gallery. As the curator of the show, Emily was not that picky. The only criteria she imposed was that artists had to provide a rejection slip from The Big Show.

Here are few rejections that I'd cover my walls with. (The photos of the work are worse than usual because of the lighting. Apparently, rejection is easier to take when experienced in romantic lighting.)

Taking on Big Oil in Houston may be a Big No.

Fresh Seafood with Black Chunky Sauce (detail)
Lim Chung
Acrylic on canvas
 Perhaps a victim of the anti-war and gophers sentiment that pervades the country.

Kim K.
Mixed media
An ominous mix of pastels, childhood, and dark forebodings.

Remember Me
Reema Houwari
Oil on canvas
Gator me.

Chris Lyerly
Mixed media
Textually appealing.

Night @ Pine Ridge (detail)
Jane B. Honovich
Acrylic / mixed media

 Excuse me while I have a Matisse moment.

Flowers (Blue, Gold) with Frame
Sondra Chambers
Acrylic polymer, paper on clayboard

Don't you just hate it when you're spending a little quality time in the forest wearing only your birthday suit and armed with your favorite chainsaw and some one asks if s/he can sketch you in crayon?

 Impel the Spirit to Build (detail)
Kevin Cromwell
Crayon on paper

Why don't all cars have this as a color package option?

Marty Arredondo
Automobile paint, metal

The ultimate home theater love seat.

Video Couch
Stephanie Saint Sanchez
VHS cassettes

I'm a sucker for both stained glass and black and yellow.

 Flores VI from the series, Fragmentation (detail)
Wayne Ward
Acrylic on canvas

I'm guessing the curator had the same experience I did. Poured her beer in the bowl and then saw her soulmate when she tried to suck it up before it all drained out.

Sarah Whatley
Digital print, wire
The artist says Heaven. I say Firmament.

Demetre P. Grivas
Digital print
Although the subject's not, I'm in the mood for impasto,thickly loaded brush strokes with multiple colors a la Frank Auerbach (thanks to Robert Boyd for pointing this out).

Saralene Tapley
Acrylic on canvas
Some works are better left untitled. I enjoy everything about this except the title.

Men Smear
George Bibb
Acrylic on canvas

It bears noting that although Emily Sloan provided a venue of redemption for those rejected, even though she herself was not. The Big Show includes her video work, Don't Tell My Parents.


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