My gallery wanderings last week were highlighted by Marie Watt‘s show at Greg Kucera. Sometimes it seems like the refined, machine-made look dominates much art made today. A refreshing contrast, Marie’s work is human-based in content and in form. Individual, handmade stitches and stories make up the work in this show, and each stitch and story can be a resting place or a jumping-off point. Cowboys and Indians and Abstraction and Grandmothers fight and sit and look at you.
I would have liked to go to her talk on the 15th, but it was the same time as the Proposition 8 protest/equal rights march.
This is a great show. More than any other I’ve seen at the Henry, this thoughtful installation makes good use of the division of space in the North Galleries. One tends to move through the rooms in a clockwise fashion (I know because I used to work at the Henry as a “Gallery Attendant” and I would watch people repeatedly opt for clockwise. (Perhaps in the southern hemisphere, people, like toilet water, might feel compelled to move counterclockwise instead?)
In these giant photographs of ocean, with the odd person enveloped, the landscape is the main character. The ocean is unmoved by the presence of the people; whereas the swimmer, the lounger, the mourner in the sand are tossed about. As the viewer, I felt tossed about. How rarely that happens. Especially powerful were the images at the end of the clockwise tour where there are no people. I excitedly scanned every inch of the vast fields looking for floaters, and was relieved to find no one.