June 28, 2006
Art at LTV: Casey Anderson,
Dana Dolan, William Falkenburg, Tracy Harris, Michael Knigin, Joan Kraisky, Haim Mizrahi,
The ever-energetic, multi-talented, super-confident Haim Mizrahi has taken a moment away from "Hello, Hello," his seven-day-a-week Channel 20 morning program ("repeats in the evening") to curate an eight-member show at the studio, restoring an exhibition tradition at LTV and "channeling" (pun?) some of the growing creative talent on the East End to greater visibility. As to why each artist's name appears both in Hebrew and English, the irrepressible Mizrahi responds with mock surprise, as though everyone should know, "Hebrew is a sacred language," and he would "elevate" the artists and their art.
The answer is brief and thought provoking and of a part with the style of his little book of aphorisms, published a few years ago, There Is No Simple Way to Say Simple Things in which he says that "a reader completes the work for the writer and therefore elevates him closer to his hunger for expression." So what might a viewer be completing for the artists on display this month at LTV?
Dana Dolan's five pastel poppies, faces in reds and pinks against contrasting backgrounds, seem self-explanatory, though Joan Kaisky's two garden landscape charcoals — Magical Path and Untitled — invite appreciation of her different styles. Casey Anderson's smoothly painted light blue and pink abstracts go nicely with Another Window, a pastel-colored interior of chairs, table and — witty touch — a painting that exemplifies Anderson in her more representational mode.
Tracy Harris's small, complex abstracts in oil, with appropriate names such as Haim's Loop and Unraveling Whirlpool, encourage closer inspection for their entangling designs of colorful swirls where underpainting dramatically emerges through the multiple layers. On a wall opposite, Haim Mizrahi has affixed 10 boldly colored installation boxes, intricate compositions of think paint, pigmented marbles, wire, jutting metal pieces, the energies of which seem hardly contained by their larger black-frame rectangles.
The group forms quite a contrast to Mizrahi's two large muted-color acrylics further along the hall, subdued, solemn geometric designs whose masses are defined by angled ribbons of black pigment, one titled Gimel, the other Mem, letters of the Hebrew alphabet but not apparent as such. "What do you want, it's abstract art!" the artist responds playfully.
Around a corner Michael Knigin has displayed several intriguing works from his "Genesis" series, collages made up of smoothly-painted surfaces intercut with scanned-in photos taken from his CD library of "categorical images." The pieces reflect Knigin's long career in printmaking as well as fine arts. Some appear surreal, fantasy-like, symbolic, suggesting some statement about the relationship of the natural and the technological world. Genesis XXX1, a subtly colored purple Dragonfly is particularly effective, its delicate lacy wings set against a somber, absorbing purple.
It was the LTV gallery's western wall, so to speak, that seemed to attract most attention on opening day. There, David Nadal's striking underwater photos and William Falkenburg's amusing "embellished" canvases were holding court. Nadal, an East End TV producer and photographer, likes to shoot in the Bahamas, whose gorgeous sea colors are on view here in slightly enhanced digital images, richly textured in deep blues. The smaller-scale images seem to show off Nadal better than larger images might because they show how striking subjects (fish, shells, the bottom of a boat shot undersea) can be both integrated into a satisfying composition and at the same time be their own focus of attention.
Falkenburg is in a class by himself (he refers to himself as an "embellisher" and worker in collage) and at the head of that class, as the clever, mixed-media and acrylic designs on display here suggest. Crowding onto one canvas all the whimsy he can, Falkenburg playfully jostles objects, pressing them against and into each other — fish, faces, baseballs, cars, trees, all in colorful, linear design (perhaps some are intended for textiles, tapestries, quilts or murals). But he seems equally creative in black and white: Was it apparent that the large Girl With Glasses image reappears in miniature in another piece, he wonders out loud. No, but it is, once a viewer is so guided to notice, at which point what was hidden becomes pleasant and amusing.
The exhibit runs through July 17. LTV, 75 Industrial Road, Wainscott.