Luisa Caldwell is a longtime W’burg artist; Mery Lynn McCorckle lived here from 1989 to 2001, when a certain real-estate nightmare (no heat, no electricity) gave her the final heave-ho (she currently lives in Georgia). Together, they united to curate the sort of weird-yet-it-totally-works exhibit we’ve come to crave in this great neighborhood. The theme, (wait for it!): flowers; the location: our own WG headquarters on Dobbin Street Mews.
My wonderful Editrix, Genia Gould, marveled at my reaction to the first works in the show. “There’s Norma Markley,” I exclaimed. “There’s Greg Stone!” as though such ejaculations could pass for critical observation. “It’s like the artists, themselves, are in the room,” she said, “and you’re saying ‘Hi.’”
Well, okay, I’ll take that. One of the nifty things about “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” (the show’s title) is that there are such clearly deserving—and diverse—artists included; artists who, when grouped together, create a visual and narrative dialogue that goes beyond the literal “flower” theme. Check out Caldwell and McCorckle’s tacit, non-discrimination clause in their curatorship: there are guys, here; like Stone, like Gary Peterson (pictured below)
whom most would think of as pure abstractionists. There’s another guy, David Kramer, who’s known for his sense of ironic humor:
Sollipsistic commentary on the artworld? Check. Pansy’s? None. (Turns out that Kramer’s Paris dealer wouldn’t release the flower images that were originally bound for this show. No worries. Here on New York City’s Left Bank we don’t need to be so literal, n’est pas?)
Meantime, there’s a guy artist from L.A., Roland Reiss, who actually does incorporate floral imagery in his collages.
There’s Caldwell’s own still lives and vanitas images that make shrewd formal use of those-little-stickers-you-find-on-supermarket-fruit.
There’s Catie LaPorte, a French national living in Rio de Janeiro who made prints that are dead ringers for postage stamps back in the early days of Photoshop, substituting the “Love” on the rose stamp for “Hate” (there’s even perforations to add to the ‘realness’ factor). (Not pictured.)
What’s the takeaway? Media can get mixed. Themes can be loose. The curators wanted to create a dialogue across Coasts, and they did it. And, well, it is Spring.
(thank you to Ms. McCorkle for the installation photos.)