Still.Life at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, Reviewed by Felicia Feaster on ArtsCriticAtl

"Still Life" at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery is reviewed by Felicia Feaster
"Some artists use form to work out ideas. And some artists get lost in it, clinging like drowning men to their rainbow of colors, technology and mixed-media kit bag. Like Mr. Kurtz gone native in the jungle, such artists couldn’t cut themselves out of the tangle with a machete, even if they tried. And often, they don’t want to. The artists in “Still.Life” – an exhibit at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery through May 28, which explores the connection between photography and painting in the digital age — are knee-deep in form and giddy from the fumes. What Julie Blackmon, Michael Marshall, Aline Smithson and Maggie Taylor have in common is a certainty that more is more. Sometimes they’re right.

One Response to “Still.Life at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, Reviewed by Felicia Feaster on ArtsCriticAtl”

  1. A Reader Says:

    This is one of the more unexpectedly harsh reviews I’ve read. These artists seem like explorers of new artistic arenas, rather than being lost in “form.”

    There seems to be not one positive thing said in the review about the work of Aline Smithson or Maggie Taylor, which is surprising to see, especially given that Taylor is a nationally well-regarded artist.

    Artwork appreciation is a very subjective thing, however two specific criticisms in the article that fall flat are the criticisms for color choice and the use of juxtaposition.

    I disagree that the colors of the exhibition artworks are too intense to work well and artwork is not invalidated by the use of vibrant color, for instance the work of Matisse. The exhibition artwork colors are not anywhere close to those used in Matisse’s vibrant work however this review leaves one to wonder if Matisse also would have been advised to “turn down [the] color dial a notch or two.”

    By the same token, there is nothing inherently wrong with artwork that uses “wry juxtaposition” as seems to be implied. [“Birds of a feather, Aline Smithson and Maggie Taylor never met a wry juxtaposition or manic jolt of color that they didn’t like.”] Rene Magritte’s use of juxaposition in most every artwork did not invalidate the work and he is often categorized as being one of the top 100 artists of all time.

    It is fine to have personal opinions but it is disappointing that the review seems overly focussed on subjective criteria while missing the opportunity to discuss the salient exhibition themes, which were exploring the connection between photography and painting in the digital age and art-making in the digital age.

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