Among the many things I love about New York is its entrepreneurial spirit. Case in point: Drawer 158. Located at 158 Franklin Street, it's a loft--a private home--that becomes an open-to-the-public gallery on Saturdays from 1-5. It's run by Karen Cantrell and Andrea Callard.
The current exhibition, up through this Saturday, July 18, features the work of Darra Keeton and David Headley, both excellent painters (and both friends of mine). If you're in town, head on over to take a look. Questions? E-mail the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both painters ply structure against organic development. For Headley, showing work from a series called Parisienne Walkways, that's typically a geometry of dot and line laid over a saturated ground of fluid but controlled color. The result pulls you in, giving you the choice of paced perambulation or a delicious splashabout in the deeper space of the picture. Artists who work on paper, take note: This work on paper is cleverly mounted on a backing and affixed to a panel.
David Headley: Installation above, with paintings from his Parisienne Walkways series
Below, from the series: 3-16-2008 (blue spots), mixed media on paper, mounted on wooden panel,16 x 12 inches
Keeton's structure is more organic. She creates tangled grids as she turns her painting this way or that, allowing the paint to flow vertically or horizontally. Sometimes one direction prevails, and the effect is more like a waterfall, or an explosion of fireworks. These paintings are as airy as mesh, but make no mistake: they're as tough as they are beautiful.
Keeton's works on paper are tacked to the wall. In a conventional gallery I'm not usually so keen on pushpins but here, in a loft that is transformed one day a week into a gallery (with excellent lighting, I might add), the effect is intimate and immediate. A larger acrylic on canvas painting in the dining room, in the unexpected palette of lavender and yellow, is simply beautiful.
Darra Keeton: a wall of paintings on paper;
Writing My Memoir #4, 2008, acrylic and gouache on paper, 30 x 22 inches
Fretwork, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches