Sunday, October 9, 2016

Holton Rower & Tim Hailand at Arthur Roger

There is an old controversy in art and science regarding the way mystics and schizophrenics often see the world around us as a glowing network of interwoven patterns. Is it a nutty hallucination or were they on to something? Similar patterns in the work of schizo mystic genius artists like Walter Anderson or Vincent Van Gogh also turn up in the work of psychedelic researchers as well as recent explorations of quantum physicists and fractal geometry. Now Holton Rower's Eudaimonia series of rhapsodically painted and elaborately carved plywood panels feature another new perspective sometimes described as “psychedelic topographic maps.” All are untitled. In one, top left, ripple-like forms suggest multiple interwoven vortexes riling the surface of an opaque black river, reflecting dazzlingly refracted rainbow patterns. Or is it discarded old motor oil rippling under a ceiling fan, reflecting a blacklight poster? Speculation is pointless. In the quantum world, as in ancient mysticism, everything is an interwoven part of everything else. A vast wall size work, below, evokes the kaleidoscopic patterning of a free-floating Aurora Borealis, or maybe the spiraling vortex of a multicolored universe birthing itself. Some feature X-shaped darkened patches that loom ominously over fiery cellular forms, causing them to seem furtive--but others vividly radiate striated bands of deeply luminous color, as if the God of Genesis had become a colorfield artist while creating the mesas of New Mexico. It's thoughtfully joyous stuff and a real evolution in the oeuvre of an artist who is the grandson of legendary mobile sculptor Alexander Calder.

Photographer Tim Hailand was inspired by French impressionist painter Claude Monet—or, actually his estate--where he spent days staring at the wallpaper. His photos of charismatic guys -- and female celebs like Dita von Teese and a wax statue of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra -- were printed on similarly baroque fabric, resulting in dreamily delirious yet weirdly convincing evocations of the nebulous realm where personal inner space resonates with the collective pop culture dreams of society at large. ~Bookhardt / Almost Eudaimonia: Dimensional Paintings by Holton Rower; Sister I'm a Poet: Photomontage Portraits by Tim Hailand; Through Oct. 29, Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia St. 522-1999,