“Heightened Subjectivity” is a group show at Interface Gallery in Oakland featuring recent work by Claire Colette, Teresa Baker and Lana Williams. Through titles that give clues to broader issues, these abstract works express the ways in which the artists engage with the current affairs of human interaction in the wake of urban subjectivity.
At first glance, Claire Colette’s graphite drawings seem constrained, minimal and perfect in a way. Up close, the wavering distinctions between each mark are more evident – a case study in control and the various human errors that occur along the way. The title, “But the earth still turns, and not as badly as all that,” suggests the acceptance of the body’s need to rest in the face of a repeated challenge; In the lower right-hand section of soft smudges nestle on the surface where Colette’s hand rested for a while. Teresa Baker’s work also suggests rest, in addition to an acceptance of material and allowance for the materials to “be.”
Baker’s work has a calm yet decided quality, each placement of the shapes an exploration of material and color, creating an intimate exchange between the viewer and Baker’s process. Angular slices of fabric drape gently down alongside or below their hard and rigid MDF and polyurethane foam counterparts. These industrial materials commonly used for construction purposes, align her work with architecture and the habitation of structures as protection, safety and residency. The ambiguous title, “Optional” allows the viewer to inhabit the negative space between a solid piece of dark blue MDF and a pale, misty blue linen attached and draping below it. Lana William’s work contrasts the quietness of the other two.
One of her paintings is titled a socially relatable phrase: “Get off your phone.” Most viewers can relate to this and perhaps wish to say the socially awkward phrase while in line at the market, or trying to enjoy a peaceful meal while someone nearby is talking on the phone. Compositions include playful, directed and intentional irregular orb or fragmented polyedron shapes surrounded by sheer, dripping washes and wide-brush streaks. The multi-layers become even more complicated by the elimination of color in some areas to reveal the raw canvas underneath, symbolic of sometimes hurried, spontaneous and fast-paced urban life.
Although the work of the three artists differs from one another, together they are a fresh and current sampling of what strong, Bay Area women artists are doing right now. Interface Gallery is located in Temescal Alley in Oakland – the show ends this Sunday, September 29.
For more information visit here.
-Contributed by Leora Lutz