‘West of East’

This group show boasts striking art worth leaving the Eastside for Hyde Park

A painting by Stephen W. Schwake
A painting by Stephen W. Schwake

'West of East'

Gallery Black Lagoon, 4301-A Guadalupe, 371-8838
Friday-Saturday, Nov. 19-20

It ain't all EAST right now, hon, OK? There are other galleries in this half-naked city, you know, and while "West of East," the current show at Gallery Black Lagoon, is a mixed bag of goods, we want to point out a thing or two in that space next door to the Parlor in Hyde Park.

Walk on in and glance at what's on the walls in the front. Much of it, especially if your vision is nigh unto jaded due to frequent viewing of graphic work, will provoke your "meh" response. Some of it, though, like the intricate narrative pen-and-inks of Katie Rose Pipkin, will make you yearn to know the stories behind the depicted scenes. Some kind of Gormenghast vibe working in there, it looks like.

Halfway into the gallery, there's David Lujan's huge rendering of a bee, and that's a definite note of interest. The image itself is lovely, yes, but the method of reproduction is what marks this as serious goodness: screenprinted, as so many things are, but screenprinted on birch, using gum arabic pigments and transparent base. Thus: as delicate, colorwise, as it is large, and rendered as if with traces of the insect's own honey.

But don't stop there. It's not that big of a gallery – your energy won't be depleted, and besides, you can always grab a slice of hot pizza at the Parlor when you leave. So keep going to the end. On the final wall you'll see, to the left, a brace of paintings by Stephen W. Schwake. Schwake works the figurative surrealism mode in oils, his sometimes cartoonish subjects reined in by solid technique to produce shadowed beauties of symbolism. Imagine: The New Yorker's Owen Smith repainting the creepier parts of Michael Sieben's oeuvre? Yeah. Good times, Gallery Black Lagoon.

More Arts Reviews
'The 2012 Drawing Annual'
Don't let Tiny Park Gallery go without experiencing this exhibit of depth and meaning

Wayne Alan Brenner, May 18, 2012

Arts Review
'Memento Mori'
The three artists showing here exhibit so much sentience, mystery, and grace

Wayne Alan Brenner, April 13, 2012

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Do Androids Dream of a Screening This Cool?
Do Androids Dream of a Screening This Cool?
Blade Runner 2049 at the Alamo makes a Golden Hornet buzz

Oct. 13, 2017

Five Arty Things to Do This Weekend: Oct. 13-15
Five Arty Things: Oct. 13-15
So much! So good! So much good!

Oct. 12, 2017


West of East, Gallery Black Lagoon, Katie Rose Pipkin, David Lujan, Stephen W. Schwake, Michael Sieben, EAST, East Austin Studio Tour

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)