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  • 3


    Complete archive, 1999-present


      Chris Sauter in Drop Out
       Julie Saul Gallery
      Chris Sauter
    The importance of absence

    Artists create unexpected figure ground relationships in "Drop Out," a photo-based exhibit at Julie Saul Gallery.


    Summer is a good time to drop out and dream, but Julie Saul's stable of six interpret this metaphysically. In the graphic and printing trades, 'drop out' is a term for removing the color or pattern from a silhouetted shape, sometimes in order to highlight something else. This Chelsea group exhibits photographs that create unexpected figure ground relationships in this way.

    Exhibition: Drop Out.
    Photographs by: Charles Cohen, Mel Kendrick, John O'Reilly, Oscar Palacio, Chris Sauter, Oliver Wasow.
    July 7 - August 20, 2004

    Gallery: Julie Saul Gallery
    535 West 22nd St.
    New York NY
    Phone: (212) 627-2410

    Small polaraid montages by John O'Reilly quietly beguile. Born in 1930, the artist's tiny meticulous works raised eyebrows in the 1995 Whitney Biennial. His works are featured in the current issue of "Blind Spot" magazine. The mysterious clippings he uses work together in their glossy surface and finely cut and fitted edges. "Nijinsky's Foot" is intertwined with less recognizable souveneirs in a tight formation and the group dances in the small theater bound by the picture's matted edges. The cut-outs obscure one another to interlock images into a close-fitting mass.

    Sculptor Mel Kendrick's two human-sized scanned Polaroid negatives are dead matte. The rich blacks are visceral like a charcoal surface. Images of ventricles or vessels appear lit from within, and in the negative, our perception of the imposing forms is challenged.

      Oscar Palacio in Drop Out
       Julie Saul Gallery
      Oscar Palacio
    The color in Oliver Wasow's "Bankok, Thailand" has been enhanced to resemble a dimestore postcard. Blown out shapes that could be rooftops in the foreground compete with an intricate web of city lights in mid-ground. A tiny billboard in the distance proffers black crosses and a flame — symbols of eternity. In Wasows filmic 'post photography' the billboards replace a portion of the scene with a different reality. In the sign, a message or directive is expected even if there is none. The illusionistic space it replaces is different in scale and in its artificiality. In "Cross Plains, WI" three blank billboards glorify a pastoral setting. "Akora Falls, Katerskill Falls, Universal Studios," is a small video loop; rushing vertical falls appose an upper billboard of moving clouds.

    An Artforum is carefully cut and skewed, revealing layers of collage. The pages are covered with paint and sandwiched like a motherboard as if holding some intelligence. Two of these are the better half of Chris Sauter's 'drop outs.' His elaborately crafted industrial scapes have cutout caption bubbles revealing only the gallery wall. Sauter's (not so original) subject seems the argueable futility of enriching our experience of either creation or loss with words.

    In the negative, our perception of the imposing forms is challenged.  

    Loss is lamented for the viewer of Charles Cohen's "Analog Time." In his large idyllic park, two figures stand on a path. One drops out of the scene, silhouetted and filled with white, it disappears by the artists brush. A man embraces the stark white form that stands out all the more in its absence, turning to cold marble or ghost. Contributing to the conundrum, the absent figure cannot be distinguished as male or female.

    In Oscar Palacio's suburban scenes, backyard architecture vies with nature. Fences stop and start around a tree's protuberance, sod attempts to flourish over asphalt with the help of a dribbling sprinkler. One piece is cut out revealing the triumphant effort.

    This engaging Chelsea summer theme show actually forces us to think about the existential implications of pictoral space, while taking pleasure in each artist's mise-en-scne.

    AUGUST 4, 2004

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