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Open Container


2014-04-01

You might want to hold onto last nights "take out" boxes they may hold the inspiration for your next great artwork. So one might think after viewing "Open Container", a solo show of exceptional paintings and works on paper by Boston artist Anthony Palocci Jr. at et al projects (56 Bogart Street). A first glance at the selection of paintings in muted tones of grayish greens reveals subject matter including computer keypads, cardboard coffee cup trays, and empty food containers. These paintings are less about issues of consumption and commerce, but rather meditations on color, light and form.

et al Vibrant undercoats of orange and yellow inform and solidify the painting surface, while linear elements trace the rise and fall of shape within space, indicating both volume and light. In "Boneless Spare Ribs" 2014, a ruddy container is delineated in spare ways; one brightened edge here, a set of angled lines there. The paint handling is confident and current, loose and signature-like but paired with all the components of classic pictorial structure; perspective, line, overlap, shadow. A peek into the back room at et al reveals works on paper wherein Palocci Jr's strategy is reduced to its essence; charcoal lines suggesting form through angle alone. These works are far from simplistic. They are a knockout. The current art conversation is full of slap-dash and hollow gesture and Palocci Jr's monumental contribution reminds us, in an even-handed way, not to be so quick to throw out the classic concerns of paint. The readily discarded may yet have much to offer. (through April 6th).

—Enrico Gomez


Palimpsest


2014-04-01

Texture. Color. Form. These are a few of the first connections one draws between the works currently on view in Palimpsest, a two-person group show at Underdonk (17-17 Troutman Street #201) showcasing the work of Inna Babaeva and Lauren Clay.

et al While a small gallery, what Underdonk lacks in physical space it more than makes up for in considered programing and careful installation. For Palimpsest, two white, rug-like wall sculptures from Lauren Clay are paired with a sculpture of neon green foam emanating from a tin pail and an installation of Lucite panels bearing the repeated image of this foamy paint spill. The repetition of imagery and texture in this show activates the implications of the title (a palimpsest is a writing surface that has been effaced to make room for new text, but on which traces of the erased text yet remain), but so to does the subject matter, i.e. the possible references within Clay's forms to the Black Paintings of Frank Stella, only here offered in corpulent papier-mache and cotton ball white pulp. The interplay between the bloated yet ordered forms of Clay and the regurgitant excess spilling from Babaeva's works make for engaging viewing and the rounded fields of white in Clay's work make nice counterpoint to the acrid, neon green within Babaeva's. This is a charming show and like the title might imply, you won't get a full view of each artists interests but rather, see traces of each within the other. (through April 28th)

—Enrico Gomez


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