Visions of GRANDeur at Chartreuse gallery is a varied romp through a disparate assortment of art variously inspired by place and time. Ostensibly, the idea of time thematically unifies the show curated by Marshall Shore aka the Hip Historian.
In some instances, artists worked with the theme literally. The diminutive timepiece by graphic designer Tom Ardans, Time is a Turnip, is one of the multi-media pieces scattered throughout the gallery. The small wooden piece displays a rotating paper face of traditional time, with the modification of “after” as a designation in the minute’s side of the whimsical clock. The piece is comprised of several different functional stacked layers, much as a traditional watch was composed of layers of gears and wheels manually wound up by the wearer.
Other pieces offer a nod to time from a nostalgic perspective, most notably in the hand-printed reproduction of concert flyers for the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. (Hector Paul Primero, #truphx Doors, Jimi). On that same line, sitting boldly alongside black and white architectural prints, is a vibrant painting of the gone-but-not-forgotten Bowie, framed by messages such as “evicting time” and “you are not a victim.”
With over 20 artists under one roof, the work displayed a wide variety of composition and mediums. Shore curated the show with a loose hand, but offered three abstract pieces collected together. The combination provided a contrast to the more literally-minded works, and functioned effectively together to push the show into a less literal, and perhaps more interesting place.
Somewhat in the same frame of abstraction is the beautifully rendered Sailors Tears by Stephen Farley. At first look, the progression of the piece is easy to miss- but the thoughtful interplay of the title and the work gives profound depth to both.
The show lands deliberately, as can be expected, in a celebration of locality- it does emphasize GRAND in GRANDeur, after all. Again, some pieces work literally with the idea, as in the exquisitely rendered acrylic labyrinth of the 1950’s building that housed the now-defunct Chez Nous.
There were also the wild outliers, ranging from a 6 foot tall neon green and red palm tree to a corner collective of puppetry clearly made in homage to the curator.
The show runs a full month at Charteuse, and is billed to include additional activities such as a TEDx Salon (Sept 23) and an artist reception on 3rd Friday. Visions of GRANDeur is on display at Chartreuse (1301 Grand Ave) through September.