Lisa Shimko does fantastic paintings that are sometimes a mix of abstract and figurative, with birds often, and sometimes purely abstract colors and shapes. The abstract stuff is my favorite because they are freely expressive and loose and her colors are phenomenal. So I was surprised when she showed, instead, lots of index card-sized paintings of illustration-style animals on decorative backgrounds. She's very talented and they were priced very affordably, so... buy them now. While you can.
[Image: vertical rectangular layout on an index-card-sized burgundy paper with markings that has been painted over. Background is divided equally by horizon line, with sky a light dove grey with thick brushstrokes and ground a darker dove grey with little grey-green vertical marks creating a grass-like texture. In forground there's a yellow post silhouetted by the ground upon which a finch (??) is perched, silhouetted by the sky. It's a side view of a very realistically painted grey, black and white bird.]
I didn't get any photos of Lisa Abernathy's stuff because it was behind reflective glass, inside, at night, and I had a full beer in one hand. So, here's some photos from that older show that I'd intended to write about but never did.
She had more paper cutouts but this time they were more stark black paper on white backgrounds. There was a tiger face baring its fangs and inside its mouth a small peaceful figure beckoning to the viewer. Others were classic storytelling devices with unexpected twists-- not overwrought irony, I mean *actually* unexpected twists-- and a jungle-like feeling. Once you get past the rich texture and the impressive technique of the work the content is dreamy and imaginative. She uses vintage textiles or papers and silhouettes to tell stories but somehow, somehow avoids preciousness. She also evoked a little of that Southern tradition of antebellum, often racist silhouette scenery in her last show-- again with unexpected twists-- but this work seemed more African- and Southeast Asian- influenced.
I liked Sarah Boyts Yoder's paintings, so I'm glad she's got another show
|[Image: several of Yoder's paintings grouped on a wall, ranging from a 10 x 10 inch square canvas to a two-ish by three-ish foot canvas]|
Hirona Matsuda's shallow, almost 2-D wall-hanging sculptures as narratives too, even though if I'd seen them isolated on some white wall somewhere I'd have immediately thought of Joseph Cornell, Louise Nevelson, Modernism, and Abstract Expressionism. When I see more of Hirona Matsuda's work around Charleston I'll probably write a post about it, b/c I need a little time to think it over.
|[Image: several of Matsuda's sculptures hanging on a wall, one box long and vertical, about 1 x 3 feet, one smaller, maybe 8 x 10 inches, one maybe a foot square.]|
Go see the show, it's at Oak Barrel Tavern in Avondale, 825-B Savannah Highway, on view thru late October.