Tag Archives: Artists

Art Review, Richard Segalman, Six Dancers

5 Jun

Six Dancers

Segalman is a very classic American artist–he is not very interested in pushing visual language forward in some sort of abstract way, nor does he go for social situations, yet there is something that draws me to his art–you could say it’s nostalgic, many of the paintings seem to be from a not current time, though what time it could be you can’t put your finger on either.  Many of his paintings have to do with groups of people and the sea–this was one of the few ones that didn’t so maybe this is why it stuck out for me.

What we see are three couples all dancing in a line, probably in some dancing class.  The dress is nice but casual, and the room is completely empty (it doesn’t look like a high school dance for example.)  It’s funny, but for a good amount of people learning to dance has replaced actually going out dancing, which I find amusing because they often learn dances that nobody really does in any dance hall that I know of.  Can you still go out and foxtrot?

The pairings are intimate and awkward–the couple on the left in particular seem like they’re looking around for direction.  The couple in the center seem a little more certain and the last couple is surer still.  It looks like a progression almost, because the people get lost into dancing.  Notice how all the men have both feet flat on the floor while two of the women are dancing around them.  The center couple seems the most intimate–standing the closest together, the woman’s legs moving in a different direction than her body–even though the couple at the right seem better dancers maybe, their bodies are farther apart, and that teapot pair of arms sticking out make it seem mannered rather than passionate.

An interesting work, a work that is pleasant at the same time as rewarding scrutiny.


Art Review, Guy Allison, Why the Angel Jumps

15 May

why the angel jumps


This wonderful painting is so complex that it’s really hard to talk about.  We have a human figure, with wings and what looks like a string around his neck looking at the sun.  In the corner under the window is a cross.  The rest of the “room” is blocky pink on black, with some lattice in one corner and a little puzzle piece with a white water drop shape on it.

The first thing I see is a sort of Icarus tale–if we want to know why the angel jumps–he wants to reach the sun.  However while Icarus is about pride, this seems to be more about despair.  The wings of this angel are clearly tied on, and they don’t look sturdy enough to fly.  The figure is standing with a bit of a slump–this is not a prideful stance, and he has a cord around his neck.  The little cross in the corner doesn’t seem religious–it reminds me more of a graveyard marker than anything else.    Also, this man might be already hung, we don’t see his feet–you can’t be sure that he’s actually touching the ground.

And then there’s the other signs, the room full of darkness and the window full of light, the lattice almost acting like the world is blocked out, stuck out of reach–the reason this angel might have jumped was over a sense of isolation and trappedness (his space certainly seems like a dark labyrinth.)  I like how his shadow seems to pass beyond the realms of this painting, like it’s trying to reach out into the world you and I are standing in.

The design of this image is top notch–it looks cut out of paper, but sends the perfect image of emptiness and unbalance.  Also mourning, like this painting might have been made in memory of somebody–it certainly is quite sad, and beautiful all at once.