the magazine : The Audacity of Art - Art for the Midterm Elections
By Kathryn M. Davis
The Audacity of Art: Art for the Midterm Elections plays on a phrase that President Barack Obama used in his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and the title of his second book, The Audacity of Hope. This exhibition offers a measure of hope and a solid demonstration of resistance to the rampant racism, nationalism, and general fear mongering that comprise our country's politics today.
The show opens with a metaphorical bang in the form of Victoria Carlson's Message in a Bottle, a hardly subtle image of a Molotov cocktail with #METOO inscribed on its label. For those of us who can't take home a wall piece, the gallery was selling Bottle in small format on paper. Carlson has worked in film as a scene painter, and her art has a cinematic immediacy that goes beyond content with its emotional impact.
Terri Rolland's grouping of clay-based paintings are equally visually powerful. I have long found her work compelling for its references towards and away from the flatness and function of painting, as well as for the textures and color palette she chooses to work in. The viewer doesn't have to read the wall text to appreciate these works aesthetically, butt reading the text changes the whole game. This is one of the few instances where an artist's or curator's statements about a work is not merely extraneous artspeak but a work of art on its own.
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