See Red @ Art Collective
Wednesday 26 February @ 11:41:42
by John Tribbett
Red is the color of heat warming these dastardly winter months. It is the glowing amber of two lovers flushed cheeks as wet lips converge. It is the scarlet steam rising in our veins when our voices climb. Red is the stove ready for the pot. It is the bull’s-eye taunting our unsteady hand and the sign commanding us to stop. Red is abrupt and enlivening. It is also the color the Art Collective has chosen to honor during its final show before it emerges from the ashes under the new moniker, Artco Gallery. “Red is the spiciest color,” says Sarah Whiting, one of four new partners who now operate the Gallery.
Red, White and Blue Houses by Mike Welton
Entering the gallery, Matthew Bindert’s lipstick tinted cityscape catches your eye first. His use of giant-scale woodcuts creates an imposing urban frontier. Disjointed rows of high-rise tenements stand butted up against one another looking like a pilgrimage of invading skyscrapers waiting to spill from the oversized canvas.
Painter Matthew Madson returns from his sojourns to the boroughs of Eastern cities to share his glimpses of the crimson brick and jasmine light that surface in the summer haze moments before twilight. By photographing and recreating the images on canvas through a painstaking process of layering and sanding, he is able to capture the grave-like silence embedded in the cities’ monoliths.
True to the galleries directive, to make art a part of everyday life, See Red is brimming with works occupying three dimensions, often with a functional flare. Upholstery stylist, Karen Huset, has wound fine velvet upon a classically styled chair. It could be the glamour throne for the head madam of an 1850’s Montana brothel. Thomas Menke uses reclaimed and exotic woods to produce streamlined cabinetry and furnishings. He offers an “Archie” shelf with strong and graceful lines that shape the smoky maroon hues of the Pauduk wood he commands.
From there the gallery explodes into a collage of postmodern pieces running the gamut from functional art to fine craftsmanship. There are the dripping organic forms blown from glass by the members of Goldenflow Studios. The future/primitive metaphysical explorations of metal and light rendered by Sara Hanson hold court with the intriguing handicraft work of fiber artist Karen Luessenheide. That’s not all; there is even a red covered limited-edition book of custom Indie Fonts created with the help of graphic luminary Chank Diesel.
“People should surround themselves with art,” Whiting says. “It’s not something separate from us.” It’s time to get connected. By now we’ve had our fill of the black ice and grey skies. We can pull ourselves from these days of drab and See Red instead.
See Red continues through Mar. 28. Art Collective, 1620 Central Ave. NE, Mpls. 612-788-8613. www.artcogallery.com