Figureworks' exhibition Without/Color yesterday. The first part explored the absence of color in three artists' work. On view now features three different artists. In these pieces the figure bursts forth. The richness of color in the two rooms carries nuanced levels for experiencing color and the human form.
Fred Hatt's drawings place various figures against a black background. They are drawn in differently colored lines, and looking at them is a marvelously dizzying experience where you see one form enter the next. Adding to this effect are 3-D glasses for the viewer. This separates out the different colors on the already dynamic drawings -- pulling forward some and enhancing the layering.
Each room of the gallery includes an arresting sculpture by Howard Eisman. These two pieces are made of fused glass on hammered copper, and in each a figure appears suspended. These pieces have so much going on in terms of sheen and the delight that comes through the surface of the sculptures. The seafoamy blue/green background of one turns to a deep indigo surrounding the joyfully embellished female.
Arlene Morris' paintings are truly fascinating. The surreal juxtaposition of imagery -- interiors alive with wildlife, including a blanket of blue owl faces -- provide a new take on the portrait and still life. Kahlo and H. Rousseau come to mind. I could look at these singular worlds forever, as each painting contains many discoveries and secrets.
The explosion of color in all three artists' work is even more powerful in the context of the earlier part of the show -- the memory of Without is a lovely unseen backdrop for this art. This show is on view until March 15, 2015 at 168 North 6th Street in Williamsburg.
(Pictured top is a detail from one of Hatt's drawings; next a detail from Eisman; two details from Morris' paintings)