Jae Carlsson

  • Fay Jones

    Fay Jones is known for her daydreamy montages of paper doll-like figures. In an early work in this miniretrospective, entitled Quartet, 1987, four figures lean in together as if for a photograph. Three sailors—one dressed in black, one in white, and a third in his ruddy bare skin—are grouped around a woman clothed in Chinese gold. Areas of opaque color with little internal variation in value and hue are bunched together; figures abut or are positioned against cool blue water or opaque sunset skies, and their adjacent vibrations emotionally pull us in. Though the colors remain opaque, at times

  • Michael Fajans

    Superficially the subject matter of Michael Fajans’ systematically blasé photorealist paintings is the everyday commerce between people. There is no heroic isolation of figures, no self-conscious myth making, no exploration of the psyche. In Fitting, 1988, two men with their eyes cast downward are trying on coats in a store, aided by attendants. In Ukiyo-e, 1989, a ballroom-dancing elderly Oriental couple dip and laugh with tipsy familiarity. These snapshotlike images are calculated to have a random and pedestrian look. Any attempt by the viewer to infuse a little fantasy into these irritatingly

  • Cris Bruch

    Cris Bruch seeks to engage himself intimately with the urban environment, the way that primitive peoples connect with the natural world. Toward that end he turns much of his daily life into rituallike performances or tasks. Pressure drawings, such as Washington Third Yesler Second, 1989, are the result—the formal record—of his self-described “treks.” Lugging large sheets of paper around a city block, he picks out significant landmarks along the way: manhole covers, brick patterns on a wall, the texture of wheelchair-slopes at the curb. Using graphite, crayon, and wax, he rubs these patches of

  • Alfred Harris

    In his previous show, Alfred Harris produced two marvelous, semantically complex images. In Triumph of Intolerance, 1988, a thick wine-red band of a line flows out from a vulva-shaped incision in the palm of a hand. It takes a hard right down the canvas and into a cup, an elaborate antique vessel taking the shape of a human torso. The lengthy connecting line turns the two distant images into one: an emotionally compelling statement about interpersonal receptivity. In Citadel, 1987, Harris creates a sense of connection by overlaying two sets of references onto one diagram. The central image is

  • Mark Calderon

    Mark Calderon’s steel sculptures have a germinal quality; they seem to arise out of the very spark and sap of life. These new works have a compelling emotional presence, which was made clear in the way they related to one another here spatially. Come Back in Two Halves, 1988, is a red wooden boat, child-size, set on straw. Nearby was Shuttlecock, 1989, a different kind of vessel: corn husks fill a steel framework, which rises to form a vaselike shape. Across from it was Untitled, 1988, a woven cherry bark vase that has been closed with a headlike lid, suggestively transforming it into a human

  • Jack Chevalier

    As an artist and Vietnam veteran, Jack Chevalier has chosen not to use painting as a way of parading his tormented psyche, but has instead sought to build a precise and meaningful iconography through which to redeem and heal it. The intricate geometric abstractions he began working on ten years ago were a cross between the ascending chorus of decorative geometries in cathedral architecture and the colorful, earth-centered sand painting that Native Americans of the Southwest use in healing rituals. But all this careful rhyming and balance of color and shape seemed rather remote, as though the

  • Norie Sato

    Norie Sato creates sophisticated analytic essays on how meaning gets engineered. She treats the visual field as a fluid system, examining how it differentiates itself, organically, into the crucial factors and forces that characterize it at any given moment. Her huge drawings, mixed-media glass sculptures, and computer graphics all display sometimes autonomous, sometimes interacting forces coinciding and colliding with each other within a single ecosystem.

    The most distinctively analytic (and restrained) of these are her prints from the “In the Blue Glow Suite” series, 1989. In each, Sato employs

  • Llory Wilson

    The serenely agonizing dances of Llory Wilson burn with a chilly, angry humor. Dualities are a persistent theme in her choreography—disparate urges in constant grueling dialogue with each other, human life as the product of paradoxical biological drives, with none completely subordinate to any others, presses the divergent aspects of dance movement to their polar extremes, generating a tautly managed anarchy. Her dancers perform with a fierce athleticism: their precision is so unearthly as to seem emotionally remote, yet their attack has such physical presence that its power sucks you in: spirit

  • Gerrard Albanese

    Gerard Albanese’s tight, expressionistic, black and white photoessays investigate the relationship between the urban environment and the people who move through it. In an exhibition last year, Albanese showed photographs of lone pedestrians seemingly driven along by an invisible force. The subjects—with heads bent forward, eyes downcast, and attention bent on some unknown destination—look as though they are on the verge of moving into or emerging out of shadow. The high contrast between harsh white light and deep shadows, and the formal instability of these pictures looks analogous to the way

  • Alden Mason

    In his most recent work, Alden Mason’s color handling and draftsmanship have merged seamlessly to produce a series of encounters with natural forces. Mason uses black to outline sketchily figurative elements, preserving enough three-dimensionality so that each image’s inner mix of squiggly acrylic colors, applied from squeeze-bottles, does not dissolve into decoration. But this line is more a border than an illusionistic spatial edge. The brushwork is like a child’s aggressive scribbling held in check by a sculptor’s intensity of concentration. The palette itself is cool, blues and greens mostly,

  • Gregory Grenon

    You stand before a woman’s face, her visage twisted by emotion. Her attitude—rendered in a kind of trenchant punk expressionism—fixes you in the present moment, in the heat of an emotional confrontation. Gregory Grenon pushes to an extreme the frontality of his images, denying them the distance and homogeneity that a portrait or narrative reading would afford. He starts by painting on the backside of a sheet of Plexiglas: the details are built up first, then the broader areas of oil are layered in behind. Blues, grays, and greens are striated through the whites of the flesh tones, black through

  • H. Ramsay

    H. Ramsay’s wood-and-mixed-media tableau are sneaky-smart satires that address the ways people relate to each other; they’re funny and thought-provoking. In Lesson, 1988, the artist places round lumps painted as oranges on seats in a classroom. The square-backed chairs seem more attentive than their occupants. One chair has a wooden apple on it. The instructor on the podium—an orange—stands beside a blackboard with an image of an orange drawn on it. The piece is flanked by classical columns; it appears to be in a stable and permanent condition. But look down the sides: the tableau is set on