Parlour is a series of curated shows exhibited in residential spaces, hosted by friends and the like. It’s a great alternative for those who want to organize shows without budget or space whilst engaging in unconventional means of experiencing art. I attended the fourth in the week long series hosted by three recent graduates in downtown brooklyn showing the works of two artists/studio mates, Ali Aschman and Andrzej Nowicki.
Imagery of crocodiles and tears abound, hence the title of the show and appropriately shaped cookies. Each work is rendered with melancholic imagination depicting scenes that are as innocent and childlike as it is nightmarishly disturbing. A healthy mix of sculpture installation, painting, drawing, and collage abound throughout the lofty space strung together and reeling us in to a world of ambivalent fantasies.
The centerpiece of the show is the result of a collborative effort between teh artists where each took turns accumulating features on figures that suggest remorse, fear, and escape. The colored fence suggest a scene and it is performative the way children perform a play with a high dose of cuteness which is then silenced by black capes and ominous tension.
Andrzej works mostly with watercolors and favors its elusive quality and freedom from solidity. The stories within each scene are never determinate, open to interpretation and ambivalent in nature. There are hints of familiar, of animals, figures and landscapes but their combination exudes definition that is ubiquitously comprehendible.
Perhaps the influence from comics explain the jagged and dramatic perspectives, lines that dissect space and create multiple narratives exploding simultaneously, leaving a viewer confused, curious, and discombobulated.
Ali’s drawings are more concise and forward in execution but similarly lingers in throwing us off with its cute violence activated by her dispaired characters. Angst, frustration, and mindless desperation come to mind when witnessing these oversized figures inflicting death and violence.
There is a pastel sweetness in Ali’s color range which differs from the bleak grays and blacks of Andrzej, as seen in this installation of a figure stabbed with green bloor tears sprouting like a fountain with lettered tear shapes curtained over floating over the figure.
Although the show was a bit too figurative and illustrative for my liking I very much appreciated the strict dichotomy held between innocence and corruption, of revealing dualties that are not defnitive and completely ambivalent.
Amongst the guests were a bunny resident and a bird. They told me they enjoyed the show as well.