JUXTAPOSITION AT FOUND:RE HOTEL
Author: Christian Stewart
Located off of the main First Friday beat on Roosevelt, the Found:RE hotel provides a larger contemporary space to display art work. The June First Friday event marked the opening of Juxtaposition: Jamie Pettis/James Angel, a collaboration between the two artists that brings together their different approaches of making visual art. Both artists have a distinct look that differs them from their collaborator, but at the same time there are subtle themes that extend throughout the works. Jamie and James segregated their works in the Found:RE’s gallery so as to complement one another and create a visual dialogue. In some ways, this can be tricky as an inexperienced curator might create a show in which the works clash or compete for the viewer’s attention. This is not the case with Juxtaposition.
Jamie Pettis’ work is figurative, loaded with color and strong female models. James Angel’s work covers a range of themes from abstracted still life's, geometric works, and large color works. As an attendee walks along the walls on the gallery they will find that it is the color in the work that is a common thread. Jamie presents a series of figurative work all strong in her understanding of the human form and seeping with color. She displays strong understanding of painting, but more interestingly, a savviness with Prismacolor pencils. This is a media that artists tend to reserve for sketches, studies, and designing larger pieces. Though not totally new, here we see that media contextualized in the realm of fine art and in a gallery setting.
James Angel’s roots however are rooted more firmly in the abstract and the geometric. Compared to understanding of figuration in Pettis’ work, Angel shows a deep understanding of art’s bare elements. His work is strong in form, line, color, and shape. Canvas of all shapes and size adorn the wall. Fields of neutral palettes are punctuated with bright bursts of color. Though in the minority of work presented, when Angel uses color he uses it with great impact. If Pettis’ work shares in the tradition of contemporary figurative work from the late 70s to 80s onward; Angel would surely trace his roots to the Op/Kinetic/Abstract movements of the mid-century.
In the end, the effect of Juxtaposition leaves those in attendance less with a feeling of competition, but of collaboration and complements. Though at first the works registers as entirely different, it shares common threads that serve to make a coherent show.