Unhinging the Distant exhibition at CSAW

On view through December 28
by appointment Kathryn Kelley kkelley@houston.rr.com

Commerce Street Artists Warehouse, 2315 Commerce Street, Houston, TX 77002

The show, Unhinging the Distant, includes recent MFA graduates and soon to graduate emerging artists, Doug Cason, Woody Golden, Leslie Magdaleno and Emily Sloan. Curated by Kathryn Kelley.

Dredged archives of near history become the source material for these artists. We are drawn close by strangely intimate narratives that emerge from the altered objects as they are unhinged from the past. Your inclination will be to touch and know. Ponder as you will, but no touching please.

Doug Cason’s study will be recreated. Why? Because when I enter his space I lose my sense of time. I sit in a comfortable old chair draped with a rich purple throw surrounded by old books. Am I in a study? As my eyes focus on the objects around me, I realize that what was old has been made new. A beautiful sense of the now and the antiquated are interwoven.

Upon the surface of the books are paintings in miniature, narratives not of the internal stories which are marked out line by line, word by word, but ones influenced by the embossed text on the spine and Doug’s research and now moments. Enticingly small, delicate and detailed are the book paintings. Juxtaposed to the shelved texts in the room and hanging in the entry corridor are old portrait photographs of unknown individuals. As with the books, altered narratives are created through scratching out and painting new.

The space is private and rich yet I am unsettled by the realization of the hidden messages in the arrangement of the space and the sense of interruption as Doug’s altered ego surfaces in one of his Zepeda paintings. I am reminded that I am in the present where nothing is sacred. I am now.

Woody GoldenWoody Golden unlike Doug does not cross out line by line word by word but instead carefully glues each page of the text together shutting of the source narrative. Woody then proceeds to carve into the tomes essentially digging out its’ primary content. This he carves into various shapes and then places back into the gutted text. My first inclination when approaching Woody’s work is to retrieve the carved object, pull it close and caress it. I beg permission. The artifact is surprisingly cool under my touch. Woody is obtuse about the recasting of its narrative. But as the viewer, I cannot help but to find meaning.

Leslie MagdalenoLeslie Magdaleno, working both in fiber and collage, casts her gaze upon the feminine. Spanning forward from the era of her mother Leslie explores the female form through traditional techniques of knitting and sewing to create two and three dimensional female forms. These forms are both delicate and full.

Emily Sloan, recently recognized for the collaborative installation Burning House on HWY 59 near Lufkin, works sculpturally back and forth between the representational and the abstract. In neither case does the narrative stand still. Emily’s work either is affixed to or references the antiquated and is highly tactile in nature.