To accompany the honor of being selected the 2012 Texas Artist of the Year by Art League Houston, Aaron Parazette has transformed the Art League gallery space with a dynamic, site-specific wall painting. FLYAWAY extends across two adjacent walls with converging lines of shifting, checkerboard perspective. The genius of the work is its placement in relation to the corner of the gallery space. The painting “flattens” and “stretches” across this corner with a subtly changing horizon line that connects to a focal point on each wall.
Done in a restrained, tight palette of white, black, cool blues, and warm greens, FLYAWAY feels like blue (sky) and green (earth) all jumbled up as we (the viewer) take off at warp speed as linear perspective compresses and decompresses. White wall space is left above and below the painting, so that it vibrates against its architectural container (for instance, the corner, the framing of the baseboard, and even the etched lines in the gallery floor take on heightened resonance).
Parazette’s smaller, shaped canvases sit on the opposite walls. Each titled “Color Key” and a corresponding number, they masterfully play off their truncated supports (a lopped off oval or a diamond missing a corner) with irregular, asymmetrical patterns of shifting shapes and colors. Like FLYAWAY, these smaller works are flawlessly made with next to no sign of the human hand, but don’t feel cold, mechanical, or predictably systematic.
While at Art League, also see Texas Eclectic, an exhibition of selected works from the collection of Judy and Scott Nyquist, Art League’s Patrons of the Year. The show is full of many prominent Texas artists and leans toward a selection of fun, colorful work where heavy subject matter is dealt with in a lighthearted way. For example, Helen Altman’s World Trade Center in a snow globe (WTC 2, 2010) , Tony Feher’s Sparkle Tux, and maybe the most somber note being a small graphite drawing by Robyn O’ Neil (Gates of Hell, 2008). Included as a personal memento is a small study by Parazette (Study for Jake, 2009) and the tone fits well with Parazette’s exhibition as a reminder that good art can be serious play.
[Full disclosure: Aaron Parazette and Judy Nyquist are Glasstire board members.]
FLYAWAY: New Work by Aaron Parazette and TEXAS ECLECTIC: A selection of Texas artists from the collection of Judy and Scott Nyquist are on view until November 2 at Art League Houston.