This show pairs the work of two artists whose evocative, organic forms and narrative titles situate their pieces in an intimate context. Toronto-based Angelopoulos’ brightly colored drawings and sculptures communicate with each other by way of subtle references. The two sculptural pieces, painted forms made of plaster, foam and steel, look like her layered drawings coming to life. While fantastical in color and shape, as in the blue-striped “Olympian,” the forms are meant to reference the human body in their scale and movement.
Tumblin’s paintings give a darker feel to the show, with harsher colors and more taxing compositions. In “Forget Me Knots,” dark blue psychedelic flowers seem to be writhing across a large black-and-white-checked canvas. Even more disconcerting is the Nashville-based artist’s centerpiece, “Daydreamer’s Folly, The Poison of Reason.” A ten-feet-by-fifteen-feet swath of dyed cotton, the painting spills onto the floor, creating an imposing presence. Squares of fabric dyed black and shades of yellow are sewn together at irregular intervals to make an imperfect checkered pattern. Layered over the canvas are stitched organic shapes and pieces of black webbing, some hanging off as if torn.
The pairing of the two artists’ work may not seem to make sense at first glance, but both play with medium and materials in a very twenty-first-century way. While Angelopoulos’ work would look at home in Willy Wonka’s factory, her fluorescent colors and line movement are all around us in pop culture, from art magazines to music videos to graphic t-shirts. Tumblin’s work, with washed-out colors and trippy motifs, reflects a more sinister aesthetic. Seen together, the works of both artists create a dystopian atmosphere, and with powerful, meaning-laden titles such as “Powers” and “Priceless,” this show leaves the viewer with a feeling of unease. “Awkward Dimensions” is a fitting title for the distorted reality this exhibit creates. (Kerry Cardoza)
Through September 20 at LVL3, 1542 North Milwaukee
Elliot J. Reichert is a Chicago-based curator, critic, and editor. He is a currently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana Unversity, and Hatch Projects Curatorial Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition. Formerly, he was Art Editor of Newcity and Assistant Curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. His writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Newcity.