Thursday, December 16, 2010

White Hole

Published in the Weekly Volcano, Dec. 16, 2010
Pictured (top) "I remember quiet nights trembling close to you," acrylic painting by Roz Inga, next to a part of "White Hole," installation by The Dead End Boys; (bottom) installation shot showing part of "White Hole." Photos courtesy of Viceroy Gallery and the Weekly Volcano.

Viceroy Art Gallery owner Scott Olson told me they like to show young artists who are just getting started. But sometimes they feature more experienced artists. Roz Inga falls somewhere in between. Olson said Inga  has been painting for about 10 years. That still qualifies as a relative beginner, and I suspect (based solely on looking at her paintings) that she's pretty much self-taught.

Inga's paintings fit squarely in the Abstract Expressionist mold. Some of them are very gutsy, and a lot are painted on found materials such as one on an old door with the doorknob left in place.

Most of the paintings in this show are abstractions that look inspired by urban landscapes. Circular and elliptical forms cluster into shapes that look like buildings with more open areas looking like streets. Some are rough and raw looking with harsh contrasts and lots of drips and splatters. In others the forms are more carefully controlled. Overall the more controlled forms work best.

There's one that looks like a Jackson Pollock drip painting. A word of advice here to any artist who may be thinking of painting a Jackson Pollock drip painting: don't do it. No matter how good you might be in other respects it will just look like a second-rate copy of the master. In Inga's "Pollock" there are veins of blue paint that sit on top of everything else. In a Pollock every drip and lacy skein of paint is fully woven into the whole. Nothing sits on top.

By far the best painting in the show is one called "I remember quiet nights trembling close to you." I was told it is one of her more recent works. If so, she's on the right track. This one is loose and atmospheric, with an overall dry-brush effect and delicate line work. Unlike the other paintings, it has the look of a Monet water lily. It's nice, very nice.

You'll notice the long poetic title. That's typical of all the works in this show. Olson said Inga is also a writer, and it shows. Another one with a poetic title is "You leave me breathing like a drowning man," which also has calligraphic writing in the painting. Two unrelated but rhyming sentences: "Water, water as far as I can see" and "I wonder if you will ever come for me."

Another outstanding painting is a small one titled "It really takes a lot out of me". Inga's paintings are uneven in quality, but mostly well done.

Also on display is a huge sculpture called "White Hole," a collaborative effort by the architects at Viceroy (which, yes, doubles as an architectural studio) who call themselves the Dead End Boys. It's made out of old sheets wrapped around chicken wire with little white lights and covered with white cotton flowers. It winds its way across the ceiling, appears to go through the ceiling and back down again, and it is quite attractive.

While there to see this show ask if you can see the works in the back room that are left over from previous shows. They include a number of paintings by owner Scott Olson and an amazing brick wall. And if you don't know what a white hole is, ask. It's quite interesting.

Roz Inga and The Dead End Boys
Through Jan. 20, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday, Viceroy Art Gallery, 711 Court A, Tacoma, 253.572.9818

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