Arts & Culture » Visual Arts

Rich black pigments create a comfort zone in Snap's collab show with Flying Horse

Darkly dreaming



Harvey! Maria! Irma! Irma piles! So much is going on that you have to force yourself to make time for what's important: really good art. This fall, put your battered psyche in Patrick Kahn's sure hands. Limited Edition, hanging at Snap through Dec. 31, is 17 artists – a mix of Kahn's own artists with visiting artists' work from UCF's Flying Horse Editions print studio and members of Art Vitam, a Wynwood ensemble.

This is a salon-style show with a wealth of image and message. Kahn's curation draws clever comparisons between artists, matching color and composition so the works talk to each other across the gallery. Eddie Martinez's muscular monoprint, in the front window, draws you in with a lively Picassoesque still life popping out of a hearty black background. Kelly Reemsten makes copperplate gravure etchings of perky young women in party dresses holding sledgehammers, boltcutters and shears. The women seem comfortable with their tools, but their heads are cropped out, so who knows? By contrast, in Fred Martins' art, the tool is a silhouetted Afro comb, and it becomes the person. Look closely at the "Orange Black and Freedom" portrait series, and back up to get the full effect of these powerful prints. Then Didier Hamey's meticulous drypoint etchings will compel you to get closer. (Kahn has helpfully provided a magnifying glass to see the fascinating detail.) While they have innocent titles like "Myrthe" and "Charme," these figures are darkly sinister, as if Edward Gorey really pushed it.

Two ghostly X-ray flowers by British artist Nick Veasey float ephemerally next to local Nathan Selikoff's beautiful midnight-blue inkjet print "Dance Variation 5." In these, and in much of this show, black is a comfort zone. Chilean Luis Lazo's "Volcano" and "Blue Salt Cave" are rich in velvety black-on-black, drawing the viewer deep into their worlds. Matthew Weinstein's "Life on Other Planets" is a mostly black etching, while Mirko Saviane, an Italian photographer, casts black shadows on colorful urbanity, cheating the viewer out of the subjects' faces and instead making the street scene into the real subject.

Master artist John Hiigli, famous for his transparent crystal paintings, is one of the few who stays out of the black game and goes for pure color. Kahn's eye for the sensuous is by now legendary. This show comprises almost too many artists, but Kahn ties them together into a coherent aesthetic statement. If you seek a respite from today's permanxiety, then step into Snap and rest your gaze, at least for a moment or two, on beauty.

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