Brian Morris Gallery
|Amanda Church, Engagement, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 24"|
Tectonic Drift at Brian Morris Gallery offered up a slice of perfection this winter, commingling painterly ferociousness with optic precision in varied works by Amanda Church, Brian Cypher, Stacy Fisher, Gary Petersen and Russell Tyler.
|Odds n' Ends (5), 2012|
Stacy Fisher's sculpture, Odds n' Ends (5), appears in the window like a mushroom cloud, setting the stage for this bright amalgam of works that become visible as you descend into the gallery, situated just below street level on Chrystie Street.
|Stacy Fisher, Orange Striped Wall Sculpture, 2010|
Fisher has commented about generating her work from key phrases like "irregular squares" or "bunches." Like concrete poetry, her use of salvaged house paint (and otherwise ordinary materials) allows her to employ a "found" palette and this, alongside the samplings of wordplay that are framed in the service of creating her work is provocative, and it lends a mystique to pieces that play in the margins between flatness and depth, painting and sculpture, and the anthropomorphic and its opposite, whatever that might be.
|Brian Cypher, Deep Divide, 2013, oil on canvas|
In a similar way, Brian Cypher flirts with the recognizable in paintings that transform thought and process into imagery. The resulting canvases appear to be in a constant state of reinvention -- as if they will continue to morph in concept and form while they're on view. Cypher's paintings are a topology of furrows and fissures, filled with visual references and abstract form that defy categorization.
The imagery in Deep Divide conjures inflated lungs or yin/yang, and of burrowing in like a feral cat might -- as if meaning was buried deep inside the canvas. The process of discovery is palpable in these refreshing works.
|Amanda Church, L: Blondie, 2012; R: Resistance, 2012, both oil on canvas|
Eros and artifice meet in works by Amanda Church, whose blithely sexual paintings celebrate the flesh amid dreamy landscapes, sinuous, meandering lines, and fictive pink and lemon yellow figures.
Church employs frank sexuality as if she's descended from Francis Bacon -- sans his brutality, darkness and downright scariness -- placing the figure in and out of dimensional expanses where it hovers between flatness and deep space. Her elastic forms and use of torqued perspective glide the viewer into a netherworld of candy colored sensuousness.
In Engagement (at the top), cranberry contours swirl around plushy orbs like so many silk scarves. Church's brushwork is tactile and it lends a toothiness to the sexual metaphor with soft striations of paint and the velvety, pigment-rich surfaces she creates.
|Gary Petersen, Point the Way, 2012, acrylic and ink on masonite|
|Gary Petersen, Ray Waves, 2013, acrylic and oil on masonite|
Gary Petersen's use of line is intuitive, ricocheting from corner to corner to corner like the trajectory of a billiard ball. As his linear motif accumulates across the surface, it crisscrosses at various junctures and -- almost accidentally -- frames out spacial forms (mostly trapezoids and wedges) that anchor the imagery within the perimeters defined by kinetic pathways.
|Gary Petersen, Somewhere in Between, 2013, acrylic and oil on wood|
Petersen animates the picture field with lines that vary from dense color bars to labyrinthian architectures that fracture, push and weave through the composition. His palette is plastic and prismatic, invoking contradiction, playfulness, and a space-bending joie d'vivre that is full of life.
|Russell Tyler, TV, 2012, oil on canvas|
Russell Tyler scavenges technological debris such as television test patterns and early computer graphics, commuting it into subject matter. In his paintings, structure and process lay cheek by jowl, slathered on to canvas with a smart and precise sense of total abandon.
|Russell Tyler, Computing II, 2013, oil on canvas|
For the writer, poet, martial artist and occasional healer Brian Morris, the gallery business is clearly one that reflects a broad range of contemporary and contemplative thought. This is definitely a gallery to keep your eyes on.
Brian Morris Gallery
163 Chrystie Street
New York City, 10002