Three Indy painters named Jason (Myers, Poteet and Zickler) are currently exhibiting at the Evan Lurie Gallery. When taking in their work together, you can get a sense of the wide variety of abstract work being created today in Indianapolis.
Jason Myers is quite comfortable with one foot in the world of figurative art; his barely delineated human figures stand naked (unadorned by clothes or anatomic detail) against chaotic backgrounds in his highly textured oil canvases. Many such backgrounds contain thick amalgamations of jumbled letters that resemble exploded thought bubbles. One of the two figures in “Trials of Gavin” is almost consumed by such a cloud. Under the multicolored dabs of paint that rise from his paintings like relief on a cartographic map, the artist communicates a necessarily limited palette of angst-ridden emotion.
Jason Poteet displays a more cheerful disposition in two oil paintings exhibited here. “xo,” which recalls early 20th century Cubism, is full of x and o shapes. The bright yellow solar disc in the upper left shines down on a red booklike object marked with an x. The letter/shapes exist independently on the canvas but also possess something akin to a male/female relationship: Any x spun on its midpoint will trace the circumference of an o. Consequently, you see here an x-shaped fan in a tubal duct and other variations on the same idea, while in “Spark” — a red and yellow canvas he fills with jazzy shapes in motion — you can see artistic inspiration set alight.
While, according to the artist, the inspiration for Jason Zickler’s “Remote Essence” came from close examination of a mud puddle, the resulting work resembles oil on water more than mud. On this 99-by-63-inch “action painting,” the standout effects are the rainbow-like bands that result from mixing acrylic paints with gel mediums. Zickler used a drywall knife to spread his paints on this predominantly greenish-yellow canvas. Then he sealed the surface with a two-part epoxy resin. Finally, he highlighted features of said painting with a black paint marker. He is not painting the outside world, but rather “an internal process,” he says. This might be lost on some, however. In Zickler’s psychedelic purple “First Big Thing,” some viewers have reported seeing the face of Jerry Garcia.
Particularly with this last example, you may get a sense of the pitfalls — as well as the pleasures — of viewing such work with a critical eye. See for yourself if you want a better sense of it. The current exhibit, which also features paintings by Jorge Santos, continues through January at the Evan Lurie Gallery, 30 W. Main St., Carmel. Call 317-844-8400 or go to www.evanluriegallery.com for more information.