Gravity is responsible for nearly all of the accidents involving falling objects, wrote Dave Barry—and so it would seem that the suspension of gravity is the best buffer against a potential disaster. “Gravity Buffs,” a thematic group exhibition, offers a sweetly sardonic alternative to the most binding of the natural forces. From video to photography, collage and drawing, the work alludes to the childlike innocence of the desire to be weightless.
Lilly McElroy’s “drawing of me kicking a dog” is reminiscent of Henry Darger’s sensibilities in marrying cruelty and innocence, in a simple straightforward pencil drawing of a young girl sending a dog flying though the air. Also suspended in mid-air is the delicate bubble floating in the interior of Adam Ekberg’s untitled photograph. A heavily lacquered moth is preserved, clasped in a wooden case, and a humorously elating crutch, papier-mâchéd in cutouts of smiles, is probably the best cure for a broken leg.
But it’s Amy Cutler’s “Arrangement” that turns to the most effective metaphor. On a masterfully executed fairytale illustration of a mount made of chairs, bed, desk and other domestic furniture, a young girl climbs to the very top of the picture frame to escape a pair of alligators. Saved or not by the escape route of domestic furniture, the high altitude makes us all feel a little lightheaded. (Beatrice Smigasiewicz)
Through April 11 at Thomas Robertello Gallery, 939 W. Randolph St.