The juxtaposition of work by Easton Miller, Andrew Holmquist, and Mike Andrews invites consideration of the ways in which material and image interact to generate content in contemporary art.
Easton Miller avails himself of an array of media to make objects that have both painterly and sculptural qualities. Many of his works jab a sharp tongue into their cheek while directing our attention to choice aspects of Americana. Glory, for example, uses basketball skin and faux shearling to evoke the NBA star rolling down the street in his lavishly appointed SUV. Hot Mess, one assumes, is dedicated to celebrity sex kittens like Paris Hilton. Two illusionistic pieces are devoted to dessert: Blue Ribbon (State Fair) mimics the look of a cherry pie, and Decisions is an ode to spumoni ice cream.
Andrew Holmquist explores painting by mining and reinterpreting its past. Using squeegee-brushes of his own design, he creates ribbons of oil paint that twist through space, distant descendants of the frilled collars on Rembrandt’s burghers or the extravagantly folding fabric in Titian’s portraits. Holmquist stakes out a territory that investigates the relationship between mimesis and free, liquid play. In one untitled work, the paint-ribbons end in hands gesturing upward as if in prayer, desperation, or maybe just to ease the pain of a bad headache. Other paintings engage the recent vocabulary of abstraction, layering different mark-making strategies to build his compositions.
Mike Andrews uses fiber, including cotton and acrylic yarns, to draw connections between painting and craft projects such as knitted sweaters and tea-cozies, while alluding to digital pixilation with stitched and woven marks. The intentional formlessness of some pieces allows them to be equally at home hung on the wall or laid on the floor like a disemboweled throw-rug. His tapestry Psychic Bastard takes a somewhat different tack, operating on a scale roughly twice the height of the viewer and woven in high-key green, red, white, and black. The structure and rhythm of many of Andrews’ tapestries hearken back to abstract expressionism, with swaths of colored fiber standing in for brushstrokes. This resemblance to muscular, historically male-dominated ab-ex painting is interesting, as the artist is a man following in the footsteps of women who pioneered much of contemporary fiber-based art.
Profile by Daniel Gerwin
Images: Gettin' Lucky, Easton Miller
Untitled, Andrew Holmquist
Psychic Bastard, Mike Andrews