Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hannah Plotke "Motel Ukiah" at Sade - Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Memory is something that can be expressed in fragments. Parts of moments, which are remembered, appear as pieces, and even as fractions of the experiences that were perceived. Rarely is anything linear or in a chronologic order. Frank O'Hara once described Alex Katz as having an "all over" approach, which was prevalent in the time of abstract expressionism, by placing his figures all over and covering the canvas space but retaining a stubbornness of being a figurative painter. Hannah Plotke in her solo show "Motel Ukiah" at Sade takes a very similar approach in her paintings. The works are populated completely with images and scenes that are reminiscences or recollections. Plotke defragments previous paintings thus creating a past by the work itself and the pictures within.

Each painting is populated with images and figures that convey pieces of memory. There is an "all over" approach where Plotke uses parts and fragments of old works and collages them onto the canvas. Like memories that each person has, the images are like puzzles in which nothing is linked by the connected images around it. Juxtapositions and contradictions are intentional, and the renderings are expressionistic in their approach to the figure, and very painterly the style. 

Visually, the paintings are effective in connecting with the viewer a sense of visual delirium. The works convey a dream-like atmosphere where the works invite the viewer to explore and synthesize the images into a visual experience. Images collide, scramble, layer and impede in the space that the canvas posses. Despite the seemingly visual confusion, the figures in the works are doing recognizable acts such as drinking, eating and socializing. The all-overness of the canvas works in forcing the viewer to explore the image plane. Plotke masters this visual process. The exhibit is on view until July 30, 2017. 

Go see.

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Los Angeles, CA 90031​
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