SANTA FE, NM.-
An exquisitely curated selection of work, in black and neutral tones, by seven artists is featured in the November group show, The Quilted Sky at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art
. Each piece of art in this exhibition speaks to the next so that, walking through the gallery, the effect is cumulative. The experience and perspective of each piece adds and deepens as one moves around the room.
The show begins with the juxtaposition of two sleek Polyester Box pieces by William Metcalf in silver and graphite black with several of Max Coles elegantly tonal works of blacks, grays, and exposed linen from the Greek Cross and Somerset series. The horizontal precision of Metcalfs bands of color, which seem almost to float in space above the stripes of polyester fabric, interact and the interwoven bands of blacks, white, grays, and linen of Coles work with its characteristic bands of vertical handdrawn lines. At each end of the long south wall is an inflated steel sculpture by Jeremy Thomas (one about 12 in diameter, the other about 4). Unlike Thomas usual eye-popping colors, these are black. At the far end of the wall the enormous, twisted steel sculpture hosts both matte and slick black facets the subtle interaction of surface perfectly relating to the shine-against-matte black bands on Coles Somerset XI.
On the north wall is Paul Sarkisians 12 x 12-foot untitled work of resin epoxy on wood. Composed of three attached panels, the gradient black and black-brown field is pierced by constellations of white. The resin surface, undulating and puckered, creates illusory depth, making the color within hard to pin down. The impressive scale of the Sarkisian, however, does not overpower the weighty strength of the facing Coles, or the copper and wood wall-sculpture, Golden I by Constance DeJong. Closer inspection of the black surface of DeJongs piece reveals roiling patterns of black on black created by the chemical reaction of the copper, chemical patina, and sunlight. The hint of raw copper along the top edge, like a seam of magma within volcanic rock, contributes to the pieces visceral, almost geological presence.
It is at this point that another common theme begins to become apparentthe play between control and what-cannot-be-controlled. The exactitude of Metcalfs works and the white-on-white geometric print by Bill Jacobson, of Coles egg-shell surfaces, or DeJongs precisely fabricated sculpture, are balanced by elements of chance: the ripple of resin, the interplay of chemicals, the waver of a hand-drawn line, the unknowable ripple appearing in inflated steel, or the chaotic fall of the microscopic pieces of mica within the layered surface of the small painting, Dark 6 by David Simpson.
The Quilted Sky weaves a harmony out of dark and light, chance and design, force and subtlety, visceral impact and cerebral stimulus. The chance to see these works in the unique context of their interaction with each other is not to be missed.