Neutral Space, is on view until July 20 at the Spray Booth Gallery inside of Volker Bikes on the corner of 18th and Wyandotte. The Spray Booth Gallery was established by Andrew Lyles who attended KCAI’s painting program. Andrew spoke last fall at Professional Practice about his experiences running a gallery. Andrew has been important in offering exposure to recent graduates on the busiest block during First Fridays.
The exhibition features a survey of young artists, many of whom have recently graduated from KCAI, exploring geometry in painting. Exhibiting artists include Amos Leager, Cambria Potter, Chris Bostick, Chris Daharsh, Emily Sall, Elliott Oliver, Francis A. Rivera Jr., Katherine Anne Novotny, Kelly Clark, Kendra Werst, Lindsay Fernandez, Mike Erickson, Nicole Mauser, Sandra Bojanic, and Todd Christiansen.
Abstraction has a long tradition in Kansas City, as seen earlier this year at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, but even longer ties globally. Neil Thurn (’10 painting) wrote an essay to accompany the exhibition about the origins of geometric art, Kazimir Malevich, and the thoughts of Peter Halley. Geometric art in the early half of the 20th century had more to do with politics and revolutionary theory in art than it seems to today. This is where the title Neutral Space comes into play, and Neil asks for a more critical approach from young people working in abstraction.
My favorite piece is by Sondy Bojanic who is an illustration major at KCAI. The small strips of paper pinned to the wall are security ink markers. It was a surprising moment to find myself appreciating the variety of colors and patterns on these everyday materials, and consider the amount of information that is exchanged from each of them. Out of all the work in the exhibition it felt the most contemporary and clever when thinking about geometry today, rather than just its long history in painting. Sondy often uses collage and patterns in her work. You can keep up with all of Sondy’s creative ideas on her blog.