In what promises to be a visually stunning three-man show, you are invited to encounter the work of three individuals providing a spectrum of aesthetic motivation and technique.
Saul Alvarez is a highly conceptual artist, working closely with his perspective of aesthetics, the art world, and societal value systems. Refreshingly stepping away from a more typical social critique that involves the assessment of authority, his work serves as a laboratory control group in which authority is set to the side in favor of outcome. Translated from a cognitive inner monologue into conceptual works that are spare, liberated from style, entirely distilled visual statements of an active and personal investigation of the world. There is a sparse and random element that is telling of an urban sprawl perspective and speaks of modern domestic life, a modeled similarity to future projection as a dialectic, as might be seen in a science fiction film. Recognition is instant even as the context is of new manufacture. Isolate, neat as an anthropological exhibit in a museum, the accumulation of elements draws attention to select artifacts from a densely packed treasury of critical material.
Edem Elesh presents us with the generous gift of rich, lush painterly storytelling that forgives the viewer entirely of miscomprehension should they simply take in, enjoy, and step away from his work pleased. With a near abandonment of abstracted and cerebral preoccupation, Elesh pulls from his own interior evidence of a sweeping awareness. Most prominent is a sense of life, in all its dimensions – appearance, breath, mobility. It is a testament to his synthesis of experience in life that one cannot quite determine if the overall feel is one for the natural world, the movements of a seasoned dance, or a sort of synesthesia produced by listening to the movements of time. Beyond these things, already a full banquet, are occasional visual references – expertly sublimated – of complex historic systems that treat his holistic subject, pointing to a powerful intellectual inner life. Above all, and by no means less significant than these grand concerns, his paintings are a documentation of happiness.
Geoff Mitchell is a method man, or perhaps it is better to say that his narrative ability is well secured. There is a sense of unpretentious grooming at first encounter, a softness and composure. His paintings, photographs and films are a tapestry of pattern, symbol and subtle distortion. As one investigates further, however, startling backstory and character elements begin to reveal themselves, not hidden at all but masterfully juxtaposed like a mental optical illusion. For example, one begins to notice that the images of people all have a cohesive element of historical periodicity, and deeper still evidence of a simultaneous statement of time and social position. The components are not soft colors, but often sharp, tartan textile patterns, abstract drawn interjections, and hard-edged geometric forms. Increasingly, one is surprised at how their impression does not match the details. As the realization dawns that everything was initially laid bare, a stimulating and almost unavoidable reflection on the nature of perception ensues.