Gallerista Mindy Solomon weaves seven artists into a tapestry of powerfully poignant, yet lighthearted social commentary in her latest show “Contradictions.” From the de la Torre brothers’ monumental colonial triptych “La Reconquista,” through the ironic narratives of Muir Vidler’s unlikely portraits, the exhibition subconsciously seethes with a satirical warning of a cynical civilization edging on kitschy unrest.
Two pieces in particular caught our fancy as encapsulating the thematic gist of a show that spans the spectrum of emotional volume: from explosive intensity through a taciturn whisper…With “Biblebomb #1907,” Gregory Green delivers mixed media with a literal bang. A double pipe bomb sits sinisterly ensconced inside a hollowed out Bible, surrounded by enough potential shrapnel to make a demolition expert shiver. There’s no other way to put it…As art, this piece is so scary it’s witty (or vice versa). Having been dubbed a “conceptual terrorist” by some critics, Green not only calls into question the idea of violent revolutionaries as indulging the ultimate in public spectacle (Guy Debord must be spinning as we speak), but the artist also succeeds in triggering a visceral psychological tension in the unsuspecting individual viewer.
Meanwhile, at the far side of the gamut, we find Bonnie Smith’s “Heaven and Earth”… A hushed assemblage of doll-sized ceramic artifacts arraigned in an enigmatic, diamond-shaped tableau. Bits and pieces, heads and hands, like the dreamy detritus of an antique childhood, Smith’s work is gently whimsical and nostalgic, yet like her colleague Green, it also packs a deeply psychological punch.
Once again, Mindy Solomon has used her space to showcase serious artists with an insouciant flair… For the gallery-hopper looking for fun, it’s there for the taking, while simultaneously, the slow and discerning eye will find so much to see. “Contradictions” is now on exhibit through November 9, 2011 at the Mindy Solomon Gallery.
Written by Day Greene—Art Activist and Enthusiast—Sunday, 10/2/2011