THE BLOG
01/06/2012 11:14 am ET Updated Mar 07, 2012

Art Rules

One of my latest fascinations is how artists use rules -- constraints or systems -- in the process of making their art. In a show called Moves Thinks Repeats Pauses at Tony Wight, five artists employ arbitrary constraints. One of the artists photographs, prints, creases, rephotographs, reprints, recreases and does it again. Another documents tossed children's blocks and feeds the images into a randomizer before deciding what colors he should employ. All this is done in an effort to remove the artist from the creative process, or a part of it. And then there's the thought that the 'proof of the pudding is in the eating' and 'what you see is what you get.' Or are we supposed to ask for clues or read the wall text that explains what we are looking at?

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John Fraser's new work at Roy Boyd is more beautiful than the last body of work which I thought was as good as it can get. He too uses constraints in geometrically rendering found objects as a reflection that seeks to stop time, but the results are Modern and attractive. (I published a status question on Facebook about Rules that's yielded over 50 insightful responses.)

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René Romero Schuler's work at Jennifer Norback is more about content and technique than rules, as she delves into feminist issues, but with a universal language. All of us put on 'costumes' on a daily basis, but women mask their strife with pretty dresses and makeup and present a strength that belies their history more than I do. Some of the paintings are seductively glittered, which makes more literal the surface beauty Schuler pushes beyond.

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Also opening tonight is a show of Barbara Cooper's work at Perimeter, which is gorgeous, as she realizes a constancy of undulating forms through an ever-diverse array of media. She's a gifted crafts-person who delivers sensuous, mature, sexy forms.

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At Catherine Edelman, Vicktoria Sorochinski photographs a mother and daughter whose synergy is theatrically fascinating as I can't help but wonder who (what) this only child is going to grow up to be. It's the kind of work I think of as 'Voyeurvision' -- as if we are peeping through a keyhole into a private world where we know we don't belong but have massive difficulty pulling ourselves away from or forgetting what we saw.

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I enjoy seeing galleries grow up and make a larger statement in support of their artists. Ebersmoore has outgrown their live/work space and have moved to a space solely dedicated to art. Congratulations to them. May their accomplishments and success continue.

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In a previous ArtLetter I wrote about the beautiful show of Karen Reimer's work at Monique Meloche. The night of the opening there was a fire in the ceiling and the gallery closed for over a month to rebuild But not all is bad news. The gallery has reopened, Reimer's show has been extended to the end of January and there'll be an informal conversation between Reimer and Shannon Stratton on Thursday the 12th. They have earned and deserve our support.

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Thanks folks & Happy New Year!
Paul Klein