Talley Dunn Gallery is pleased to present Black and White, a group exhibition featuring the work of Jeff Elrod, Joseph Havel, Susie Rosmarin, Joel Shapiro, Tara Donovan, and Marco Maggi that explores the enduring allure of the visual play between black and white, the power of achromatic contrast. Black and White will be on display in the project gallery through July 7, running concurrently with Dale Chihuly: Recent Works and New Forms, on display in the Main Gallery through August 18.
Jeff Elrod’s painting "Dream Machine II" (2009) begins with his unique process of “frictionless drawing,” whereby the artist uses a computer mouse to draw his sketches digitally, his hand gliding along to create fluid, abstract compositions. Once the artist has completed the digital sketch, the drawing is then transferred to canvas and painted by hand, creating what Elrod refers to as “handmade copies of digital originals.” With its stark contrast of black and white, Dream Machine II delves into the divide between digital technology and hand-made work, as Elrod playfully bridges the two worlds.
With her current Gray Series, Susie Rosmarin has stripped away the vibrant color from her recent work to examine the mesmerizing pull of black and white and their intermediate shades of grey. In "Gray #3," Rosmarin creates visual tension with an integrated whole of meticulously painted patterns that vibrate and flutter before the viewer’s eyes. Similar in nature to Op Art of the 1960s, Rosmarin’s canvases present a disciplined rigor of space, pattern, and repetition under her masterful eye that leaves no line out of place.
Similar with her careful rendering of detail are Tara Donovan’s "Untitled" relief prints, each created from a pin matrix. Well-known for her installation pieces and wall drawings, Donovan often uses everyday materials such as paper plates, cups and drinking straws to make abstract worlds of her own design. In her prints, Donovan searches for the possibilities of form made by matrices of bubbles and pins.
Joel Shapiro's series of woodcut prints, "Untitled (A) (B) (C) (D) and (E)," recalls the artist’s angular, geometric sculptures that reference the human body in various positions and forms. With this suite of prints, Shapiro uses his well-known formal vocabulary to communicate his interest in spatial relationships.
In both of Joseph Havel’s pieces, the viewer sees thousands of woven dress shirt labels that bear the word “Nothin,” with each composition created from the formation of vertical or horizontal layers. Over time, the weight of the many labels causes the precise lines of the original configurations to distort and blur into less than perfect patterns, as the work settles into itself. Both the shirt labels and their text connect back to poet John Berryman’s The Dream Songs, a book of great importance to the Havel and his artwork.
Concluding the exhibition is one of Marco Maggi’s mind-bending cubes, "Cubic File," comprised of five hundred sheets of paper stacked and then cut to reveal nine perfect squares. Within each excavated square, Maggi cuts away tiny, intricate forms from the last layer of paper and bends the piece back over the surface to create a dance of line and form. Referring to such pieces as ‘textures,’ Maggi invites the viewer to associate various, possible meanings to the work: “My textures don’t have specific meanings; they work like hangers. They are open texts to open readers.”