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Each piece included in Grey Area utilizes different techniques to highlight just how expressive and varied compositions without color can be. A range of materials from liquid graphite to charcoal to simple pencil capture and project themes of growth, exploration, anxiety and emptiness. With no immediately discernible human forms or faces, Grey Area still precisely manages to evoke human emotion.
The works contrast against Shade Gallery’s stark white walls as dark and dreamy testaments to the power of drawing.
In Travis Rice’ Complication, a towering 74” x 52” charcoal and gouache drawing, a tall geometric object is portrayed mid-shatter to reveal a disjointed yet still unified core. Seven light grey disks with hollow middles make up the only unbroken parts of the drawing. They stack to form the segmented obelisk that seems to be shedding a former version of itself. The growth of the column is highlighted with spraying liquid flecks that lend themselves to a human aspect reminiscent of tears or blood.
Palomo’s work often centers on uncomfortable or difficult circumstances but does not neglect the beauty of the situation. The dark havoc in each of Palomo’s pieces featured in Grey Area is buoyed by gorgeous and intimate renderings of buds and flowers in various stages of growth and death.
Dreamsnake 1 by AJ Nafziger, a graphite and Dura-lar 48” x 32” drawing on pre-printed paper follows a long, faceless serpentine form as it travels through space and seemingly, time. Twisting and curling, the snake both forages ahead and back-tracks on itself across 96 individual panels that make up a rectangular galaxy filled with stars. The printed-paper underneath the grey snake depicts the cartoonish rockets and shooting stars present in many of Nafziger’s otherworldly works. The use of these child-like images in combination with the quiet stillness of the piece creates an alien tension.