Vicious tenebrous gods of Subjectivity! There’s no real reason, that I could find, for castigating Wyatt Grant’s “Dreamer Gets Another Dream,” a collection of collages and paintings and bantam sculptures; only that they fail both conceptually and aesthetically—”aesthetic” here not to be confused with “beautiful”—and therefore holistically. What is it saying, when the most attractive pieces are abstract works that embody the supposed theme of the show the least, wherein the colors and shapes and lines and spaces are arranged just so in a purified neo-plastic way? (This is how, by the way, a work of art succeeds aesthetically.) Meanwhile, the finest piece of quasi-representational work is one wherein the abstraction runs high and fast—a tartan face, a floating eye, a hulking hourglass form—and sits in a pile next to the gallery assistant, ready and willing to be taken home with you (not an indictment; personally, I love how my favorite piece can live with me, and me it).
There is something underdeveloped about most of Dreamer’s dreams; the street-dancing scene of “Heads or Tails,” with its chocolate-chip moon and hard, unyielding tree of angles—just sharp British Racing Green angles, just so, like a car accident, like someone impaled a julienned Mini up there—and dancing ghouls, all shark’s eyes and viperine slot-noses and silty slit mouths pasted to pallid skulls, rises up in the mind and eye like a brume; with a year’s development, when we are taken off the sidewalk and inside the “Cantina,” allowed to see Grant’s world in three-dimensions—the viper people are now joined by a leviathan champagne flute and a piano, obtuse ivory teeth and gravid belly splayed akimbo at the finger’s tips, sybaritic icons looming like doormen on the floor—some depth is added, and something comes close to happening here. Grant mentions “The Catcher in The Rye” as shaping his dreamer, perhaps without knowing that Holden Caulfield meant nothing, but he sure was pretty; even so, he’s here, locked in those anxious shapes and scoffing at the phonies and their drinks, their lives, their dreams. (B. David Zarley)
Through March 7 at Paris London Hong Kong, 845 West Washington.