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Gallery Speed Dating in June: Part One

As always in the Hill Country this time of year, the overwhelming majority of the citizenry in these parts overdoes it in some form or fashion during the Memorial Day weekend.  One too many hours in the sun without the appropriate SPF on your damn-near-translucent fair skin (‘Hey, Casper, yer gittin’ a lil’ pink’), and/or one too many a water ski run on that tricky knee that’s never been too reliable since your days as a stout fullback for some 5A high school powerhouse, and/or one too many alcoholic beverages by the pool in front of the in-laws, from jovial to making up your own language after one too many a glass of some shitty sangria your transplanted-from-Portland neighbor’s so damn proud of concocting.  You get the picture.

And it’s with these superficial wounds that all of us go limping into the following weeks of June, which inevitably end up being an introduction to the kind of oppressive, almost syrupy nonsense that we as central Texans endure in the summertime heat.

(Before I go any further, the greatest irritant during this time of year is, believe it or not, NOT the temperature, but instead the cheery, NedFlanders -ish group of optimists that cling to the notion that they have not only embraced the four-month swelter, but have come to enjoy it.  I refer to this evil cadre, from the rooftop with gusto, as The Great Liars.)

So, to slug it out with my sluggish tendencies under the bright light of the sun this month, I have decided to take a speed dating approach to the scene, if you will, with quick visits and short bursts of coverage so as to not overdo it, strain a muscle, etc.  Sure, a crass parallel when put in the context of fine art, but that’s sort of the joy of my blog, so there. 

Off I go…

The Davis Gallery
Wood & Steel
By Caprice Pierucci & Randall Reid


Situated just east of 12th and Lamar, due south of some all-too-frequent constructional fungus in town these days, and a healthy southwestern rock toss from the Rio Grande campus of Austin Community College, The Davis Gallery hosts two Texas State educators and their work through the end of the month.

 



 

Working in the former material of the exhibit’s title, Caprice Pierucci transforms a background in textiles and tapestry weaving into a method of sculpture that is labor-intensive woodworking of the highest order.  Whether a simple curve, a skeletal network of connected lines, or rippling waves, there is a sensual, fluid rhythm to her vision that strongly suggests the kind of infinite possibility of the human emotional spectrum (and intriguingly so!) that she has chosen to mention in her statement online.  There is so much motion in this work, and the combination of movement and size captivates at angle, after angle, after angle of viewing.  One piece looks like wave forms stacked vertically, another looks like melting wax hanging from invisible dowels, and so on.  Smooth, undulating wood creations as if abstract snapshots of motion, Pierucci has a distinct voice that gallery owner Bill Davis mentioned has only refined with each passing exhibit, and I look forward to staying abreast of its evolution.

 



 
As the ‘steel’ part of the show, Randall Reid creates, in essence, two-dimensional steel sculptures in the context of a traditional frame, using scrap and pieces of signage that have been years weathered as an exercise in the recognition of elapsed time.  His portion of the show feels rusty and rural – two things that usually appeal to me – however, beyond the work’s charm of found objects and their somewhat dilapidated states, I found little that registered with me, or defined the work further than pieces of metal contained by borders on the wall. 

Last, I appreciate the forced juxtaposition of the materials and the approaches of the artists by The Davis Gallery.

Number two, soon to come…

also by CCGrady
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