The Austin Chronicle

Arts Review

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, October 15, 2010, Arts

'Monolith Pass: An Installation of Drawings by Anthony W. Garza'

Mass Gallery at Co-Lab, 613 Allen,

Through Oct. 15

Shattered rainbows of color and media, a Lost Ark warehouse of materials and methods, the rendering of stratospheric abstract goddamn concepts into palpable (or at least viewable) metaphors: Hey, just set that rigamarole aside for a moment, why don'cha?

Back to basics.

Back to drawing.

With a thick black pencil.

When you're Anthony W. Garza, that's all you need.

When you're Anthony W. Garza, you place your myriad marks, and your skill itself is sufficient cause for appreciation.

Garza's current show, presented by Mass Gallery at Co-Lab, over there in the tree-crowded, weedy lushness of the Eastside: It's something you should see if you appreciate sheer drawing ability, the expert application of graphite to paper. The choice of subjects is no less appealing: a stag beetle, a mountain goat, the skull of a tyrannosaurus, the skulls of saber-toothed tigers, and other remnants of the natural world. None of these pieces are committed with cartoony cuteness or the three-wolf-moon sense of irony too often seen tainting such images. These are hyperrealistic, high-contrast drawings referencing nothing but the objects themselves, thoroughly devoid of context, surrounded by enough white space to frame the images at a remove akin to the distance between, say, us and the dinosaurs.

It's monochrome magnificence.

You get the idea, here, beyond the photo accompanying this review? That these works are pinnacles of precise, hand-drawn reproductions of what's available and remarkable in the physical world? You do, and you suspect they might be worth seeing in person. Well, don't merely suspect, please. Consider these images and the paper they're made upon, each one of them is roughly half the size of a door – and these dimensions make them that much more powerful a visual force. You should know that this work requires, for full effect, a personal inspection; we recommend it – by Friday's closing reception, at the very least.

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