|With a shared penchant
for vivid color, Faith Gay and Raymond Uhlir make for a comely
pair to be exhibiting new work side by side at d berman Gallery
through Aug. 21.
color is about all these two have in common.
Gay employs her signature sense of whimsy and delight, but this
time instead of the found and vintage objects she’s used in the
past, the Austin artist uses simple art and office supplies. Clear
packing tape (miles of it), neon-hued labels, colored paper, cardboard
and even a little glitter find their way into Gay’s latest creations.
And from all these very unnatural materials, Gay fashions organic
and nature-referencing objects.
It’s consumer culture masquerading as nature — cheap stuff deployed
in our age of economic limitations to make lovely emblems to the
natural world. Rainbows, lightening bolts and clouds are cartoonishly
rendered in chunky shapes then assembled in layered compositions.
Or else, Gay crafts alluring orbs of various sizes and shapes,
stacking them in different arrangements on the gallery floor.
In one such arrangement, “Zasterous,” more than 100 brightly colored
orbs make a mound in one corner of the gallery.
And everything — the layered rainbows, the orbs — is wrapped again
and again with clear packing tape. Gay’s ersatz natural objects
may be joyful but they are hermetically sealed. For our protection
or for the objects?
Uhlir, in his first showing at d berman, is a storyteller. Only
in his series of paintings — called “Relatively Epic” — the complete
story is kept elusively out of reach.
Uhlir’s meticulously stylized gouches and oils — with scrupiously
pristine surfaces — mirror the look of 1980s television cartoons.
Of varying sizes and shapes, Uhlir’s canvases spill out in a chronological
order of sorts, provided you look for the thread of the storyline
Uhlir presents. The tale is something about twins — one representing
rationality, the other creativity — separated at birth in a mythological
world who reunite.
But lacking any kind of detailed explanation from Uhlir — except
for his crazy titles such as “Abandoned at Birth, the Daughter
Will Grow Up Without Her Brother (Twins Aren’t for Everyone)”
— the tale leaves plenty of room for viewers to fill in with their
And that’s just fine. After all, isn’t everyone’s reality a mythology
of their own making?
“New Work: Faith Gay and Raymond Uhlir” continues through Aug.
21 at D. Berman Gallery. www.dbermangallery.com