On display through Dec. 19
By appointment only
Eye Level Art Warehouse
2143 Heriot St.
Each of the 16 artists at Eye Level Art’s new show had a four-foot by four-foot square on the wall to work with. Hence, the title 4 Square. Fortunately, there was substance beyond the clever theme. The exhibit, located at the gallery’s Heriot Street warehouse was eclectic and fun.
Artists took different approaches to filling their squares. Tim Hussey and Helen Rice, for instance, arranged four pieces in a standard configuration, four pieces to a square. Their work, though, was far from ordinary.
Hussey’s abstract faces were so colorful as to be decadent. And they were ghostly, staring from their cardboard canvases. Rice had a more whimsical touch. Teetering on the edge of doodledum, her drawings of comfort foods, like spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, and honey, took on a delicate air.
I grabbed a handful of Cheez-Its from the “square food” table and continued around the room. Other artists chose miniatures to fill their spaces. Max Miller, for instance, offered a rash of tiny portraits. He had painted a human equivalent of actions, adjectives, feelings, and a couple animals.
His “Drowning” portrait portrayed a guy under water comically surrounded by bubbles and octopuses, while “Hawk” featured a man with wings on the sides of his head. Each portrait was painted with fantastical detail.
Yvette Dede took a cheeky approach, using the familiar, bulbous, and humorous Mr. Potato Head to give her square a lighthearted touch. Each of the 25 miniatures were cartoonish charcoal drawings. Mr. Potato Head looks up, looks down, peers into a mirror, far away, up close, and so on. Dede described the vegetable as “coming to terms with himself.”
Jorge Meyer’s blooming plants were delicate and beautiful. Created by silver emulsion on coated metal, each small plate rested within a large white mat, creating a simple and elegant look.
Other artists avoided the square format altogether. Nathan Durfee displayed several cartoon confections on canvases of various sizes. He demonstrated an ambitious range with an open sketchbook mounted atop his space, which allowed us to get a sense of his process as an artist.
Adrienne Antonson, who helped curate the show, also had several works of varying size. Human hair was a common theme. Her uniquely framed pieces created an informal, cozy feeling like looking at a wall in her home.
4 Square was a great informal way to get a taste of each artist. The wide survey was so fairly priced that anyone could have taken home a party favor. Although the “square” motif may have gone a touch overboard, feeling somewhat at times like a kid’s themed birthday party, the show fulfilled its purpose in drawing the city a little bit closer to its artists.