Thursday, February 12, 2015

BARE: A Boudoir Exhibition” at B2

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Feb. 12, 2015

"Winged Asana" mixed media sculpture by Marsha Glazière

"White Face Dancer" drawing by Guy Anderson
Maybe I shouldn’t review this latest show at B2 Fine Art because I am in the show, but not reviewing it would not be fair to the gallery or the other participating artists. So I won’t mention my own work other than to say it is an honor to be included in a show with artists of such stature.

“BARE: A Boudoir Exhibition” is a show of nudes in drawing, sculpture, painting and photography. The gallery warns that children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult. When taking notes for this review I was struck with how often I noted similarities to works by famous artists. Maryanne Hanson’s sketches reminded me of drawings by Giacometti — thin figures (but not so emaciated as Giacometti’s) drawn with energetic lines. I was particularly struck with a set of three figures hung in the windows. Paul Dahlquist’s photos of male nude dancers and his photo montages reminded me of Robert Mapplethorpe’s gay erotica. Although not quite as blatantly sexual as some of Mapplethorpe’s photos, they come pretty close. Nina Mikhailenko’s small, classical female nudes have a lot in common with paintings by George Luks, but with more expressive and sparse paint application. Francisco Zunigo’s three charcoal drawings are like Picasso’s heavy figures from his classical period. These are among the most impressive works in the show with their smooth modeling and lyrical contour lines.
Others were too uniquely themselves to call other artists to mind.

Guy Anderson, the most famous artist in the show and also the most impressive, is represented by five life-size drawings of standing male nudes on brown paper and one smaller sketch in ink on paper. Each of his works is an isolated figure drawn with a strength and directness that leaps off the page. The contrasting unmodulated color areas and the harsh contour lines reverberate against one another in such a way as to enliven these stoic looking male figures. At the opening and again a week later I kept returning to these fine works.

Marsha Glazière is showing a single piece, and it’s a knockout. Called “Winged Asana,” it is a mixed-media metal sculpture of a woman posed in a dynamic dance move. Perhaps you’ve seen some of her paintings. In this sculpture she has done with various mesh screens and metal plates what she does with paint, which is to create a densely textured clash of complementary forms and surface marks that are nevertheless nicely unified, that speak simultaneously of the subject and the materials. It is outstanding.

Rounding out this selection of art are seven pastels by the incomparable team of Ric Hall and Ron Schmidt. These works combine elements of surrealism and German expressionism with male and female figures in groups and in various environments with dark fauvist colors and strange juxtapositions. Often Hall and Schmidt’s figures meld together to form single figures with multiple parts. They can be unnerving, but I enjoy them. Whenever I see their work I feel like I’m in a cabaret in Berlin circa 1930, or in the midst of a nightmare. They are scary, funny, and beautifully crafted.

Also showing are fine works by Chuck Smart and Georgianna Malloff.

B2 Fine Art Gallery, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, till 9 p.m. Third Thursdays, through March 14, 711 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma, 253.238.5065]

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