Mythologies and fables cover the walls of grayDUCK Gallery in this show by Megan Kimber and Adrian Landon Brooks
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Oct. 31, 2014
"Heirloom"grayDUCK Gallery, 2213 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/826-5334
Through Nov. 23
Mythologies and fables underlie our lives. The big ones, the ancient ones, are vast networks of interconnected fictions bubbled up from our earliest human cultures to bleed and blur, saturated by time, across geographical borders. The smaller ones, the younger ones, are less diluted by global and temporal dispersion, are deepest and brightest around the epicenters of community and families and idiosyncratic individuals that birthed them.
You're going to see a lot of mythologies and fables on the walls of grayDUCK Gallery during this latest exhibition, "Heirloom," that features the artwork of Megan Kimber and Adrian Landon Brooks.
You're going to see evocations of distinct people in the works of Kimber, people with enigmatic and fantastic backstories alluded to in the time-frozen snapshots of their lives, captured by the artist in subtle watercolors to which shreds of fabric and odd found objects have been added for a diversity of effect. "I paint these intense, moody little characters with delicate curved lines and aged ink washes," says Kimber, "which parallel the layers, fault lines, and intricacies within each breath and moment of a human being." Your own human mind, if it tries to formulate a description to later pass along to friends, may conjure Brian Froud undergoing a series of precise creative seizures in an abandoned lace factory.
You'll witness icons and archetypes, whether figurative or structural, in the starker compositions of Brooks, rendered with stunning, geometric precision upon a variety of materials – modern poster paper, antique greeting cards, sections of weathered wooden boards – blazing like artifacts lifted from the walls of some Jodorowsky version of a Greek Orthodox church. "When I strip a painting down to its bare bones, it helps me think more intently about the impact of each line or stroke," says Brooks. "I find satisfaction in creating simple and concise works that convey universal messages of loss, love, and redemption." Some of these works are small enough to frame on a desktop; others can anchor even a vast expanse of wall; all burn darkly with pattern and color and the suggestion of centuries of tradition abstracted to strongest graphic impact.
This "Heirloom" is a valuable exhibition, bequeathed to the public through the fourth Sunday in November. We think that, if you treat yourself to a visit, you'll have another thing to be traditionally thankful for during the upcoming holiday.