‘Holiday Group Show’
Among the many reasons to see this show: Randall Reid's evocative sign collages
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Dec. 9, 2011
'Holiday Group Show'Davis Gallery, 837 W. 12th, 477-4929
Through Dec. 31
We're not ignoring a damned thing here at the Davis Gallery, OK? We're not walking as if blind past the stunning cityscape oils of David Leonard. We're not snubbing the smooth and sinuous wonders that Caprice Pierucci works in lengths and widths of wood. You know we've gushed about what David Everett does toward reincarnating nature's varied beasts in miniature via perfectly chipped and chiseled and painted wood, and there's no way that our eyes aren't scrutinizing and our wallets' credit cards faintly twitching as we pause in admiration. There's no way, capisce? We're taking in all of that and more.
But we're so close to a big Western crux of time right now, when one year switches to the next in the consensual chart of our numbered days. So as we move forward, we're going to glance at what we've left behind, and if we're doing that in the service of art, our hindsight will be fortunate to find itself trained on objects conjured and constructed by Randall Reid.
They're like something from a William Gibson novel, we tend to think. Not something from among the neo-technical gewgaws or retro-cyber window dressing but objects of art that are just that: art objects. Intentional creations that the Wealthy and Mysterious Provocateur of the story would have on the walls of his immaculate, impressive office or study or hotel lobby.
Reid makes collages, but not collages of paper. He takes the vernacular of public history – decommissioned street signs, rusted advertising metal, strips of iron, bits of shop-painted wood – and fashions them into visual markers of what's gone by, arranging them like some savant experimenting with decaying urban Colorforms until the perfect embodiment of the Age of Commercial Signage and Metal Containment is reached, in framed rectangles and squares, over and over and over. Beautiful. Evocative. Like choice swaths ripped bleeding from the hide of capitalism, then cauterized and cleaned for a sophisticate's leisurely viewing.
So we're urging you thither, citizen. But, no, those are not the only things worth seeing at Davis Gallery's diverse "Holiday Group Show." Not by a long shot.