Part of Aug 2012 by

Jennifer Joseph, Nancy Sutor and Fujino Sachiko: August Gallery Hop in Santa Fe

Seven paintings by Jennifer Joseph hang at Turner Carroll Gallery in a group show called Color RX.  At first glance they are just rainbows, an experiment in color theory or an exercise in patience.  Eye Test 01 is a series of concentric circles radiating out from a small center.  The heart is a marigold-yellow misshapen sliver around which a single line of analogous color encircles continuously. Small globs of paint are left behind but Joseph’s hand does not waver.  Her brush is small and flat and travels the distance around this shape again and again until the very outer reaches show the circumference only in the corners of the square canvas.  Only after a dozen or so lines do the varying yellows finally mature to greens, then eventually to blues, purples, oranges and reds and back to yellow.  Whether or not Joseph knows she will span all the way to purple or get stuck in yellow is a mystery but the effect is a canvas that looks like a terrorist alert hotspot or a Yellowstone geyser.  Joseph draws her inspiration from corneal mapping, a process used to determine eye conditions and even fit contacts.  A spiral is projected upon the eye, whose topographical irregularities read as hot or cold (reds or blues).  The effect is mirrored in these paintings, which theoretically project back onto our eyes yet another schemata. In this way, Joseph’s rainbows see and are seen.

Eye Test 01

Tai Gallery has a Japanese ceramics show with works from a broad mix of contemporary ceramicists as well as a show within itself, Desert Bloom, of Fujino Sachiko’s work.  On the Avant Garde of Japanese pottery, the collective offers clay in all different shapes and sizes but which consistently maintain the core structure of vessel.  Some are large rectangular platters or V-shaped vases in thick terracotta clay with supposed flowers meant for the V’s dip.  Kondô Takahiro’s small box glistens like humid fairy dust in a silver mist glaze and Hoshino Kayoko creates shallow irregularly angled bowls that appear architectural with their incised vertical lines and silver interiors.  Amid Desert Bloom, Sachiko’s A Moment in White looks like an incredibly elegant meteor rushing through space. The artist has a background in textiles and fashion design, which certainly shows in her sensual nebulous creatures.  The base of this egg-shaped sculpture is a flat disc that breaks off into frayed strips so as to drape around and meet at the head.  Here they promptly twist and close up like an artichoke.  Sachiko’s surfaces are porous with pale bluish gray surfaces like a pumice stone.

A Moment in White

Lastly, Nancy Sutor’s Compose Decompose in the current Alcove Show at the New Mexico Museum of Art displays 30 color photographs of the artist’s compost pile. Documented over a period of time and spanning three walls, the first wall seems to start in summer and by the third wall, winter is come and snow has fallen.  All that’s left in Compost, Orange and Snow are a few sprouts peaking out from the white fluff and the ginger outline of half an orange holding snow like a vase.  Flowers are rampant and one wonders at the beautiful still lifes that must have decorated Sutor’s home before they became litter for compost.  Snow or not, all her images are lush with texture and vibrancy and consistently show attractive arrangements.  Whether or not the viewer can recognize all the abandoned food would be a good testament of health as most regular MacDonald-ers may not recognize the pit of an avocado or be able to tell a red pepper from a tomato—even the best seasonal grazers among us may have to consult the wall tags here and there.  Sutor may have avoided framing the worms for a cameo and there may be an extra bouquet here and there but as an uplifted memento mori, Compose Decompose does make time’s hand seem playful and charming and yes, even full of life.  Despite the concerning waste, Compost, Squash and Kale shows handfuls of succulent orange squash that still look edible even when nested in wilting chopped kale. This is the other side of the farmer’s market and it appears that a deliciously hearty soup is in the works.

Compost, Squash and Kale

Featured Image: Nancy Sutor

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