Though Artspace 111 is one of the most progressive and respected galleries in North Texas, its walls don’t see much nonrepresentational work. As a result, the near-downtown institution’s current exhibit, the imaginatively titled Abstract Show, resonates like a pealing bell through the silence.
Featuring five veterans, the show is not necessarily extensive, but it is impressive. Contributor Matt Clark could be termed a loud minimalist. Across his canvases, bright colors screech and yawn, forming flat planes of streaking shapes, a kind of visual static. As dependent as Clark’s pieces are on hue, contrast, and movement, Amy Herzel’s work relies just as much on precision. Her pencil drawings swirl and percolate like nebulae, familiar yet unrecognizable shapes arising from the incredibly minuscule strokes. Somewhere between Clark and Herzel, TCU MFA’er Winter Rusiloski’s stark, haunting paintings represent abstraction in the purest sense. Representational shapes are hinted in the impasto but are never revealed. Are they landscapes? Are they mises-en-scene? Are they still lifes? There’s no telling, but the persistent suggestion of familiarity is hard to deny (and some would say an artwork can best be judged by the amount of time required to view it). Similarly, from a purely aesthetic perspective, Ronald Watson’s dynamic, playful wood sculptures can be entirely digested at a glance. But just how in the heck he made them –– one looks like a melting “X” made of cubes –– is a question for the ages.
The Abstract Show runs thru Aug 6 at Artspace 111, 111 Hampton St, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-692-3228