Featured Review: Splinter of the Mind's Eye

Featured Review: Splinter of the Mind's Eye Curator Joseph R. Wolin suggests that artists' youthful obsessions outweigh adult, book-learned influences in this group show of paintings (and one sculpture). The youthful obsession, in this case, is Star Wars; the artists participating are men of an age that permitted George Lucas' vision to be their shared adolescent daydream. Wolin presents the exhibit as a kind of essay wherein each piece is proposed as evidence of an aesthetic contest between intergalactic spectacle and wild, expressionistic abstraction à la Jackson Pollock. Strangely, the influence that prevails is neither of the suggested two, but rather the big, brash '80s-era painting of the Julian Schnabel variety — heavy on tube-pure primaries, large glossy strokes, brute masculinity, and light on conceptual nuance and material delicacy. The one exception is Emilio Perez's a different time of day, a mass of black-lined, pale-hued undulating ribbons painted with flat, matte uniformity; it looks like a comic-book graphic of abstraction and, as such, is the most elegant distillation of Wolin's thesis. Also showing: paintings by St. Louis-based Brandon Anschultz, whose negotiation of science and abstraction is crisply controlled and modestly cerebral — a near-antidote to the main gallery show. Through July 18 at Philip Slein Gallery, 1319 Washington Avenue; 314-621-4634 or www.philipsleingallery.com. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. and by appointment. 

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