Setting the show’s anything-goes-tone, Jack Eriksson’s cracked cast of the driver’s side of a Ford F-150 was plopped beside the sidewalk leading up to the Blaffer. It made for a very Texas blend of ambition and absurdity.
Sarah Jones’s Everything I Made in Undergrad is, apparently, just that. It’s a pretty witty idea and the solution to the dilemma of many graduating art majors. What do I do with all this crap? Jones used it to create a giant teepee. (Actually I think it’s supposed to be spelled tipi now.)
It’s wonderfully silly and over-the-top, the metal frame is piled with a lot of stuff, mainly mounds of things made out of pastel colored chiffon and plastic. You can even crawl inside it, which every kid unwillingly dragged to the exhibition promptly did. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Arning, exceedingly tall director of the CAMH and all around good sport, did as well.
Arning was also checking out Natali Leduc’s the bookatron: the origin of rain, a giant Rube Goldberg-style flip book that involves pedaling. I think it’s pretty great that the CAMH’s director is always out there looking at all kinds of work, even student work.
Jone’s crap tent may have been engagingly silly, but Anne Katrosh’s piece is downright ridiculous. The red wax that encases cheese? Katrosh figured out a use for it, covering some small square canvases to create "encaustic" works entitled Encaustic 6 (LA VACHE QUI RIT), after the Laughing Cow cheese brand. (You know, those really annoying commercials where a woman foists cheese on passersby?) The “paintings” aren’t exactly successful, but they are pretty funny. It might have worked a little better if she just did one massive canvas.
There is always one kid in every painting class with amazing rendering skills but, unfortunately, they don’t always make interesting work. Travis Garner is an exception. His painting of a dazed-looking woman in a towel sitting on the lid of a toilet is precisely painted but just strange enough.
What the hell else can you add to a painting with a half-naked tattooed bartender, a completely naked kneeling woman, two leopards, some raw meat and a full bar? A Scarface-sized pile of coke?
I’ll look forward to the results in the next student show…
also by Kelly Klaasmeyer
- Mel Chin: Rematch - March 22nd, 2015
- Buildering: Misbehaving the City - October 9th, 2014
- A Thin Wall of Air: Charles James at the Menil Collection - June 15th, 2014
- Plexiglas Makes it Possible! Francisco Sobrino at Sicardi Gallery - June 6th, 2014
- Kermit Oliver: Tracing Our Pilgrimage at Art League Houston - November 6th, 2013