Friday, April 17, 2009

Folio goes to the Cummer

When Folio Weekly announced its call for artists for its inaugural art show, I admit, a derisive chuckle may have escaped. Though Folio has been a long-time supporter of the arts, their focus has always been music. Or so it seems to me (and I used to write for them).

I then did a little research on the gentleman selected to be juror, Folio Weekly Art Director W. Kelley Lucas. I’d heard good things about him, however, looking at is work, which seems to have greater ties to comic, illustration, and satirical traditions, I arrogantly thought that the bent exhibited in his work would be evident in the show selections.

Though there is a distinct lowbrow/underground vibe to the show that could arguably be linked to Lucas’s personal aesthetic, as a whole, the show is thoughtful and surprising. And perhaps most exciting of all, there are several artists on display whose work I was not familiar with.

Franklin Matthews’s muddy green landscapes seem to consciously defy the clear, white-blue light so often depicted in NE FL landscapes. Almost tangibly hazy, the works seem quickly, but confidently executed and the boggy sensations the paintings evoke make me want to check my shoes for mud.

Clay Doran, the alter-ego of the artist Squid-dust presented two works which are based on the decay of the urban landscape. Using rickety window casings with the glass still intact adds to the feeling that Doran has rescued the piece from the “city floor,” and through a change of context reinvented it.

Edmund Dansart’s work is also evolving. His palette and brushstokes, though still conveying a great deal of agitation bow to the greater impact of his work as a whole. Which accomplishes much more through sly humor than his earlier grimmer and more narrative works did.

Overall, though I’d say the show displays what might be described as a Folio-esque aesthetic, it hangs together well….and even in that lowbrow-ish bent is still very much in keeping with values and interests that former director Maarten van de Guchte took the museum in. Specifically his interests in Americana and folk art.

Featured artists include:
• Brian Gray
• Casey Matthews
• Chad Landenberger
• Clay Doran
• Daryl Bunn
• David Hansford
• Edmund Dansart
• Matt Abercrombie
• Franklin Matthews
• James Greene
• Jose Cue
• Leigh-Ann Sullivan
• Christina Foard
• Logan Zawacki
• Mark Estlund
• Matthew Bennett
• Sarah Crooks Flaire
• Zac Freeman


Anonymous said...

thanks, as always, for your critical eye and coverage of all types of art in the community.

i enjoyed the exhibition because it featured numerous artists from outside the museum mainstream, but provided a expanded view of the art community in jacksonville.

no exhibition can include every corner of this community, but i enjoyed the diversity. this show gave me hope of bringing the art community together for a few moments. we are developing jacksonville.

See you at the next community art event.


Cœur de Lion said...

inspired by prehistoric cave drawings and trips to the Museum of Natural History.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar reaction when I first saw the announcement for the show. When it was all said and done, I really appreciate Kelley putting the time and effort in to the exhibition. I’m sure it was a bear.

The diversity really appealed to me. Although I don’t know if the show will help the scene when it comes to creating more buyers, it has helped towards connecting different artists. I, as a painter, am grateful to see the stencil from Chad L., and more from Christina F. There are ideas in their work that are influencing me.

Between Making Marks, Next, and this show, the elusive ‘scene’ is looking more cohesive.