Have you seen me: A First Friday roundup 

click to enlarge Heather Stamanov,  "Summer's Over Bitches," from TA-DA! at Primary Gallery through June 20
  • Heather Stamanov, "Summer's Over Bitches," from TA-DA! at Primary Gallery through June 20

Heather Stamenov: TA-DA!
Primary Gallery through June 20
Take one glance at Stamenov's large-scale oil paintings and you'll see why she was a shoo-in for the Stutz Residency program this year. Her dead-on depictions of adolescent girls having fun - accomplished with bold splashy brushstrokes and thick gobs of paint - are a must-see. Check out "Happy Birthday, Harmonized," where you see 12 or so people, mostly girls, on their backs, on air-mattresses in the flowing waters of a river, singing and flipping the bird - so to speak - to life's troubles. - Dan Grossman

Russell Young, Robert Indiana, and Whitfield Lovell: Rethinking the American Dream
Long-Sharp Gallery at The Conrad through June 30
★★★★ The selected works by MacArthur Genius Grant winner Whitfield Lovell are the standouts here. Lovell's sharply-detailed portraits, drawn in Conté on surfaces ranging from paper to wood, evoke the breadth of African-American history. The portrait of a young woman on paper in "Kin XX (Be My Knife)" is part of his thought-provoking series including found objects - this one includes an actual knife. But I don't know if the adjacent Russell Young screen prints featuring portraits of Native American chiefs - and incorporating sparkly diamond dust as a medium - do anything to rethink the American dream other than to commodify a painful chapter in American history. The addition of Robert Indiana prints from his American Dream no. 5 series, however, was a good choice. It was worth trying to find parking downtown for this one. - Dan Grossman

Self-Portrait Show
Gallery 924 at Arts Council of Indianapolis through July 26
This show features 43 self-portraits - by the loosest definition of the form - by 43 Indy artists. The ones that drew me in didn't leave the world of representation behind. A.J. Nafziger's painting "Self Portrait," which portrays the artist decked out in Christmas lights, is as conceptually intriguing as it is technically sharp. Evan Hauser's ceramic and mixed media sculpture "War Childs," featuring a boy and a girl breathing out of the same gas mask, might make you wonder about the possibility of finding love in a world where the very air we breathe is under threat. - Dan Grossman

click to enlarge From Nathaniel Russell: The Opposite of Lost at iMOCA through June 20
  • From Nathaniel Russell: The Opposite of Lost at iMOCA through June 20

Nathaniel Russell: The Opposite of Lost
iMOCA through June 20
At a glance, this room at iMOCA seems a bit, well, mundane, in that it's merely a row of fliers - mostly 8" by 11" but some are larger - with a rough, hand-drawn approach. Feast your eyes on one, though, and the laughter begins. There are numerous guffaw-out-loud fake fliers in this show that blends photos with simple messages. It appears to be rather crude in its approach, but the effect is delicate as the show captures the idea that fliers are the last frontier of true, unmediated human expression - an expression that transcends our preoccupation with presentation, design and coolness. - Jim Poyser

Jacinda Russell: A Tale of Obsession and Nine Fake Cakes
Stutz Art Gallery through June 30
What do acrylic-painted Styrofoam cakes photographed in front of bodies of water and obscenely inscribed Marilyn Monroe publicity stills have in common? Both Russell's own photographs (of the cakes) and her digitally-enhanced representations of stills collected by a perverse Monroe admirer can indeed be termed products of obsession, the former artistic and the latter sexual. - Dan Grossman

Emily Schwank: These are the days that must happen to you
M10 Gallery through June 30 by appointment and June 22, noon to 4 p.m.
These photographs document Schwank's recent trip to Northern Ireland with her daughter, who is often a subject in this series. In the photograph "The Space Between - Belfast 2013," you see Schwank's sister - a peace facilitator - walking along the border between Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods in Belfast. A number of other Schwank's photographs are similarly imbued with rich metaphorical content, spurred by the setting and clever framing. - Dan Grossman

click to enlarge Emily Schwank, "The Space Between, Belfast 2013," from These are the days that must happen to you at M10 Gallery through June 30
  • Emily Schwank, "The Space Between, Belfast 2013," from These are the days that must happen to you at M10 Gallery through June 30

Rutherford Chang: We Buy White Albums
iMOCA through June 20
The Beatles' White Album, with its all-white cover, is something of a blank canvas (at least in its first vinyl edition). Might that be the secret to its visual appeal? In Chang's "record store," consisting of 750 first edition pressings of the double album, you see a number of covers that are adorned with stickers or drawn on with pen or marker. The artistic utility of its cover, then, as well as the mind-boggling diversity of the music contained within, make it the ideal desert island LP. - Dan Grossman

Freddie Kelvin
Hilbert Circle Theatre through June 30
Kelvin's photography exhibit encircles the Rotunda at the Hilbert with an eclectic mix of his wide-ranging interests. Of particular note is his penchant for slicing through the obvious to the particular. His keen insight into dance movement allows Zach Young's body language to merge with the iridescence of the ball as prop in "Afternoon of a Faun" and unleashes Mariel Greenlee's joyful "Summer Sizzle." Initially known for his landscapes, Kelvin here provides a retrospective from straightforward reality to playing with light for refracted imagery. "Yosemite" particularly compels with its layerings of what the water reflects. Stop at the ISO Box Office for free entrance up the stairs. - Rita Kohn


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    • May 27, 2015
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