Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gone, but not forgotten

(Mary Henderson, USS Cole, gouache on paper, 8 x 10)

When a show comes down, many of us simply file it away in our memory banks. But I say it's not time to forget just yet. Sure, a review or snippet (as this is) is always nicer when a show is up, but that shouldn't take away from what it was. Two quick shows I wanted to mention just closed-- Nicole Stager at Like the Spice Gallery in Brooklyn, and Mary Henderson at Lyons Wier-Ortt in Chelsea. Both artists do drastically different work (Henderson, a photorealist master; Stager, a photogram genius), but I enjoyed both their works equally.

I really love Henderson's work at top showcasing a navy soldier enjoying himself, and being quite an excellent camera mugger while on the job. These candid moments are ones to savor, and Henderson does a great job at humanizing those who sacrifice day in and day out. Some timely and topical images to appreciate post Veteran's Day, and boy, that girl can paint.

Stager's vibrant photograms made me crave some Now and Laters, or Starburst fruit chews. These glossy color explosions were soothing to my tired eyes filled with exhaustion. Like a full-on Red Bull caffeine upswing, I couldn't stop looking at their surfaces-- some deceptively including surprise collage (a piece of lace here, a string there). Besides color saturation, Stager has mastered the time lapse element so important to the photogram process, where you can even trace her fingerprints back to their initial point of contact with the photo paper. Check it out.


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