Saturday, May 4, 2013

First Friday: No Lollygagging

Amanda Bush, Habitual Offender 

 left: Amanda Bush, Pink in the Face, right: Leigh Werrell, Up, Down, Charmed Bottom

Leigh Werrell, Home
Joan Turner, Summer House (detail)

Joseph Lozano, Blinds

When I was a kid, I was always hearing this expression, "go do x, but no lollygagging"  And now that I teach kids, I know exactly why. All they ever do is lollygag, leaving massive messes their wake, completely forgetting the task at hand...which the attending grown up then has to go complete on top of cleaning up the other mess left from the time spent not doing the original task.  So after a long week of working with these lollygaggers, I was understandably exhausted and the only thing that seemed reasonable or enjoyable to do on friday night was to go home and face plant into bed until tomorrow. 

 But it was First Friday.  

So I gave myself the strict instructions: get to the shows you want to see, no lollygagging.  And it was the best plan ever.  

I went first to Gross McCleaf, to see Memory, Place and Identity as Filter, which featured the work of Amanda Bush, Leigh Werrell and Joan Turner.  It was really a fantastic show.  A very cohesive, well curated show with beautiful paintings that seemed to reference the artists' lives but went to some exotic, boogeyman dwelling childhood paradise alla Peter Doig.  Definitely worth a look in person -- the images don't do the surfaces and color justice.  (Full disclosure:  Leigh and Amanda were in my MFA program a year below, and they are lovely people, but that is not why I recommend this show.)

My second and final stop was to Joe Lozano's solo show at Artists' House.  All the work was in this beautiful bluish, green tonality like the painting above.  The paintings were of common things, (like a wreath or blinds or two people embracing) which is something of a departure for his work.  But the way they were painted made these things feel anything but commonplace, they were also alive with a sort of foreign, other-worldly light.

Of course, being an artist, I often find myself wandering around aimlessly between point A and B, lollygagging if you will, but at First Friday, when a billion people are milling through sweaty galleries to see what is many times mediocre art for the promise of a splash of wine and a pretzel rod, I like my new all business approach.  I arrived home invigorated for the first night all week.


Megan Watkins said...

I went to undergrad with Amanda at USM! She's always produced some beautiful work. I really enjoy your blog. It's very well written and you feature amazing art work in your posts.

Aubrey Levinthal said...

Hi Megan -- Thanks so much!

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