Sunday, October 27, 2019

Tague, Loney & Hailey at Barristers Gallery; Campbell & Vis at Good Children Gallery

In autumn of 2008, major banks began collapsing, ushering in a period of global economic turmoil. In autumn of 2008, Prospect.1 New Orleans opened as America's largest international art biennial, and ushered in a bevy of new galleries along St. Claude Avenue. Eleven years later, some of the St. Claude galleries' founding members are exhibiting work that reminds us that global turmoil remains the order of the day. That said, even some of the edgier works on view sometimes appear surprisingly pristine. At “The Cocktail Party” expo at Barrister's, for instance, the long canvas strips hanging from multicolored bottles high on the walls in Dan Tague's “Untitled (pink, lemon, aqua)” installation initially conveys an austere warmth, perhaps a hint of meditative Japanese minimalism. The seductive, pale fruit colors of the glass bottles lends a buoyant aura, so it takes a moment to digest that we are really looking at a very orderly and aesthetic display of Molotov cocktails, perhaps a gesture of solidarity with the protesters in Hong Kong. Hanging in mottled baroque counterpoint, Daphne Loney, Heathcliffe Hailey and Dan Tague's messily incendiary tapestry, “Assume the Apocalypse” (detail, below) suggests a deluge of fire and water as a kind of final elemental denouement.

If current international news seems a bit draconian, we can always divert our attention to Generic Art Solution's “The Harder They Fall” expo at Good Children (top) where a meticulously detailed video depicts Tony Campbell and Matt Vis deconstructing the flags of their respective homelands, the UK and the USA. If the tedium of the work is punctuated by our deep unease of seeing the Union Jack and Old Glory so thoroughly dissected, any damage is soon healed by the magic of reverse video projection as the fragments miraculously seem to reassemble themselves into intact flags before our eyes, in an allegory of how our respective democracies are ongoing, eternally evolving, works in progress. ~Bookhardt / The Cocktail Party: New Mixed Media by Dan Tague, Daphne Loney and Generic Art Solutions, Through Nov. 2, Barrister's Gallery, 2331 St. Claude Ave, 710-4506; The Harder They Fall: New Mixed Media by Generic Art Solultions, Through Nov. 3, Good Children Gallery, 4037 St. Claude Ave., 616-7427.