Harold Mendez exhibits six paintings and a full wall installation. One not familiar with Mendez’s work might miss the work, “A sort of perverse signature,” since it blends with the gallery walls. The single sculptural piece, “A teenage love that didn’t feel no hurt,” is accompanied by the study drawing which was more intriguing than the piece, though the mixed media sculpture has a captivating presence in the barren gallery room. In an odd way the leaning wooden form did evoke images of childhood and innocence. If “We are alike and worse than mirrors of each other” was the only piece in the room this exhibit still would be worth a visit. This small drawing is open to floods of interpretation and personal representation, a piece to stand and look at for hours. This collection breaks away from Mendez’s usual work of societal and political statements. The exhibit is more of the artist and less of the cause. These are pieces Mendez created for himself, perhaps on a day off. Amy Honchell’s “Points of Impact” is on display in the second gallery space. It is very exciting that “Purl,” composed of thread and cloth, joins this collection. Seeing “Purl” is like being introduced to the mother where the children are all of Honchell’s colorful ink drawings. “Purl” is the single piece that screams a prediction of success and fame for Honchell. Her drawings bring to mind landscapes, skin and arteries, making the connection between humans and the material of the world. The swirling, melting colored layers of Honchell’s work are a great representation of time and the many layers of life. Her interest in architecture is evident in her work and her studies in fiber and material have given her an understanding of the most dramatic and meaningful way to use a given substance. (Rachel Turney)
Through June 20 at Contemporary Art Workshop, 542 West Grant Place, (773)472-4004.