Kelley Johnson: Slow Hum, at Freight+Volume

Kelley Johnson’s work build on concepts from Op Art expanded field theory.

At first glance, they look like dimensional objects, but on closer inspection they become more like paintings, so there is a tension and shifting between the gaze and the glance.

Which reminds me of a chapter by the same title written by my old ‘pal’ Norman Bryson back in the 1980s.

All of which reinvigorates the subject of painting, which seems to have been partially subsumed into the digital sphere of late.

Thaddeus Radell At Sideshow

Thaddeus Radell’s work brings new life to ‘figurative’ work. The paintings show figures, but they seem both literal and figurative [symbolic]. And they don’t disguise the fact that they’re made out of ‘stuff’.

They remind me a bit of Lascaux cave paintings, some of the first ever done by humans. We have the material to look at, and lens of history, but that’s never enough.

What was the first painter thinking? Was it just a continuation of everyday life? Or maybe the work had symbolic power, or a social angle. I suspect they must have had a premonition of things to come, and were reaching for that thing just outside the cave of shadows and reason.

In Shakespeare too, the best part is that’s it’s always about real life, and more than the play, and so is always breaking through the fourth wall, even though that part of it is only obvious is fits and starts.

So this work provides the opportunity to be transfixed, oscillating between the material and the real, suggesting it may be possible to break through that wall once again.