[New York Peasant by Kim Davis: February 6, 2013]
Con Artist is an artist's collective. It's also a gallery, located down some slippery steps beneath 119 Ludlow Street. If you're on the Lower East Side this evening, you should seek the space out. It currently houses an exhibit by Laura Tack, "We Rooted and Forgot."
I'm excited by Laura's work, and by her rapid artistic development. This is a show you should see if you possibly can.
I featured Laura here before, in a revealing video about her artistic practice. She's a friend, but she became a friend because I was knocked sideways by the first works of hers I saw: a series of small to medium-sized collages.
Back then, she was working in a small bedroom. Since finding gallery space, both the variety and scale of her forms has grown. She has pushed further into abstraction. Although the work is informed by politics, I find that less in the content than, paradoxically perhaps, in the process, which seems very physical, open-ended, and generous.
Her hands are remarkable. She pushes the paint and found material, scratches and tears the heavy rooftop paper, reworks surfaces, until a truth emerges. A formal, visual truth, but an expressive truth, nonetheless.
I saw that especially in a large work (seen above) called "the battle in the garden of technology." It's a cascade of grey matter--concrete, I think--clinging to heavy paper. As you look, vertical white shapes emerge. It's a picture which repays long looking. Ghosts of images.
There are eleven works on display, including several large works on paper, as well as smaller sculptures.
These works don't respond to a casual glance. They repay attention. She has begun to title her works, but I'm not sure the titles, poetic though they are, always help understanding.
Although Laura has generally been seeking larger formats for her work, I still love it when she works in miniature; for example, in this taut, layered, richly textured wall sculpture.
Unfortunately, there are only two opportunities to see this show--tonight, and next Wednesday evening. I hope there are many more solo shows to come.