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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Reynolds Gallery

Reynolds Gallery opened two new exhibitions last week, “Amnesia,” new paintings by Heide Trepanier, and “The Art of Aggression: Iraqi Stories and Other Tales,” a group exhibition curated by Jean Crutchfield and Robert Hobbs.

As I've stated before, I'm not a fan of Heide's work, and this exhibition hasn't done anything to change my mind. With Heide's paintings, if you've seen one you've seen 'em all - and any one calls to mind a number of other artists, from Inka Essenhigh to Giles Lyon to Doctor Seuss. Not that you would confuse one of Heide's paintings with an Essenhigh up close, but from across the room they all look like Essenhighs to me. You can see for yourself because she is showing next month in New York at Stefan Stux. I saw her last show at Stux and noticed a number of big reviewer names in the sign-in book - Roberta Smith, Ken Johnson, Jerry Saltz - but she didn't get a review. Maybe she will this time. I hope so and I hope it's a good one, maybe somebody can explain to me what the big deal is. I find them mechanical, repetitive, and monotonous.

UPDATE 1/27/2005 : This wall-piece was interesting though, much more so than the assembly-line paintings.

UPDATE 1/27/2005: Another Richmond artblogger disagrees with me! I should probably also clarify that I when I say "they all look like Essenhighs" I'm thinking Essenhigh circa 1999. I'm really into this newest figurative work she's making - it seems like Iraq, loneliness (feelings of abandonment?) and husband Steve Mumford have been on her mind. Citizens of the Richmond Artblogopolis Unite!

Aaaargh! In adding that second update I somehow deleted the second half of this post! To sum it up:

I need to go back and spend time with the Art of Aggression, not to engaged the first time around. Surprised to see Robert Hobbs at the reception, didn't think he took in local exhibitions - oh wait, it's his! - and my favorite pieces currently hanging at Reynolds are the Ron Johnson and the Shirley Kaneda. The Kaneda is now hung upstairs and looks so much more colorful and warmer in the smaller space.

More to come on Ron and Shirley tomorrow, they are also my two favorites at another show right down the street.