Review: 'Giggling Angels' at Wug Laku 

click to enlarge Steven Sickles' "Chinese Export East"
  • Steven Sickles' "Chinese Export East"

3.5 Stars

Wug Laku's Studio and Garage; through June 25.

Texture was Steven Sickles' secret to drawing in his audience, as was professed in the artist's statement for Giggling Angels. For this show, he derived his background patterns from abstract expressionism (see the Rothko-esque rectangles in "Chinese Export East,") as well as from Chinese hand scrolls (especially the turbulent skyscape-backdrop of "Metal Skin and Ivory Birds"). Each work was a sensory surprise that invited closer inspection.

In the foreground, Sickles often used the form of an orb, swirling with thick oil, serving as a textural counterpoint to the background. Only a few of these works could fit into Wug Laku's small side gallery, but it was this intimate environment which particularly allowed Sickles' orbs to bristle with energy.

I could sense a growing enthusiasm at Wug's studio; an awareness that the artists' emphasis on technical subtlety and sophisticated messages has paid off in recent exhibitions, and now they can't miss.

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