Optic Nerve

Douglas Melini, Gary Petersen, Sarah Walker at McKenzie Fine Art

 Douglas Melini, A Dazzle of Remembrance, 2009, acrylic and oil on canvas w/ handpainted wood frame, 23 x 18.5 inches

OK, so I’m late with this report. Blame it on a different nerve, the sciatic. It’s hard to write when you can’t think. But I’m getting better, and I want you to know about this show at McKenzie Fine Art in Chelsea while there are still a few days left—it's up through the 8th.

These three artists are not exactly what you’d call a seamless trio. Melini is making vibratory grids that resemble a patchwork of weaves that fracture space; Petersen, syncopated angles often suggestive of architecture; and Walker, energy fields that I'd describe as geographic hallucinations. But that’s the point. Each is working with a geometric vocabulary and saying different things. The resulting exhibition is a retinal workout of differing planes and spatial fields, twists and folds, excavations and layers. I entered sober as a judge and left with a buzz.

Let’s enter the gallery and look around.

Looking into the gallery from the doorway: Sarah Walker, foreground; and Gary Petersen in the distance. All photos by me except those credited to the gallery

Below: Sarah Walker, Continental Drift, 2010, acrylic on wood panel; photo: McKenzie Fine Art website

Walking into the main gallery: three by Douglas Melini, left; four by Gary Petersen

Below: Petersen's The Divide, 2011, acrylic and oil on canvas;  photo: McKenzie Fine Art website
I like the scale of these works: intimate to midsize

Melini's three paintings head on, with a closer view of the painting at left, below

Untitled, 2009, acrylic on canvas with handpainted frame


Swinging around the gallery: one by Petersen, two by Walker, each shown individually below

Gary Petersen, Passage, 2011, acryulic and oil with colored pencil on masonite panel; photo: McKenzie Fine Art website

Two by Walker
Points Without Planes, 2010, acrylic on wood panel
Masses and Forces, 2010, acrylic on wood panel

Below: Detail of Masses and Forces

Arcing back to the entrance: two by Petersen, and Walker's Continental Drift, which we saw when we entered

Below: Petersen, Slip, 2010, acrylic and colored pencil on masonite; photo: McKenzie Fine Art website