Rounding up a smattering of 37 artists, a new exhibition at the Jeff Bailey Gallery entitled “Grey Full” takes a close look at art’s most enigmatic color. The show educates viewers on the subtleties of shade and how small variations can communicate the emotional spectrum. A personal theme for artists who grew up on graphite, the show’s artists are all long-term explorers of the color. Desaturated though it may be, we loved the concept from curator Geoffrey Young and came away with a few favorites from the show.
Using a pelt of black sheepskin, Hugh Hayden abandons his architectural roots to shave a portrait of the President of the United States. The relief accomplishes a gradient through the relative length of the hair, with the white skin beneath providing contrast for the jet black coat. What begins as shock and comedy results in a meditation on race and an exploration of African American hair culture.
The masterful graphite work of Will Duty shows incredible manual ability. His drawn gradient background is a fluid contrast to the soft abstract scratches that are overlaid. In his work, one gets a sense of the potential for monochromatic works, and how an absence of color and contrast can add to the gravity of a piece.
Audrey Stone is a master of detail. Her delicately outlined webs are hardly visible from a distance. Getting up close and personal with the work, a network of pathways and geometries emerge. Created with painstakingly set thread, ink and pencil, Stone’s work is full of motion and energy that sneakily alters how we read the flat grid of lines.
Will Yackulic‘s “Grotto” is a complex combination of cold-process dye, india ink and oil paint. The abstract representation has a chemical appearance that’s full of rich texture. Yackulic’s individual look is gained through his employment of multiple mediums, which in the past has varied from gouache to typewriter ribbon.
Another abstract work, “The Cave” by Jered Sprecher, caught our eye for its haunting qualities. Disembodied finger marks and obscure forms stand out on a scene that seems to be melting away. The work reflects Sprecher’s fascination with states of change and deterioration.
The exhibit opens with a reception tonight from 6-8pm and will run through 11 February 2012.
Jeff Bailey Gallery
625 West 27th St
New York, NY 10001