"We take comfort in the strength of architecture from the anxieties created by a continuous stream of information," reads Marna Shopoff's artist statement to her new show, and in her painting, "Street Scene," you can speculate on how this idea applies to her work. A building - approximating the Mid-Century modern style - leaps off the canvas's red background; it's slightly blurred, as if you're viewing the building from a moving car.
Such cityscapes might indeed be a source of comfort for Shopoff, but given her extraordinary talent as a painter and her ability to incorporate concepts into her work, she doesn't necessarily need the scaffolding of an artistic statement for support.
David Schmitt's mixed-media sculptures, however, might be difficult to appreciate without such scaffolding. The key phrase in Schmitt's hand-written diagram of an artist's statement is "anti-aesthetic." Accordingly, I found most of Schmitt's painted sculptures difficult to appreciate aesthetically.
His "Stud Mega," for instance, reminded me of a shipping pallet, and while its lack of aesthetic charm may have been intentional, it didn't engage me on a conceptual level either. I did find one piece aesthetically and conceptually engaging, though: "David and Goliath," an elegant thing, made out of poplar, which looked to me something like a hybrid watchtower/music stand. Through April 27 at Harrison Center for the Arts, Gallery No. 2.
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