Commentary: I visited four reopened art galleries. The experience was not what I expected
by Leah Ollman | September 16, 2020
Such robust, tightly conceived shows can feel like a generous gift to screen-sapped eyes, distracted minds and defeated spirits. Steve Turner Gallery was featuring a hearty trio of solo presentations: stylized portraits by Paris-based Rebecca Brodskis, assemblage portraits by New York-based David Shrobe and, most engrossing to me, “ceramic paintings” by Iowa City-based Kevin McNamee-Tweed.
McNamee-Tweed’s modestly sized, irregularly shaped panels are glazed, embossed and incised with images and words excavated from the artist’s mental attic — art prints, commercial signage, notes to self, calendar pages, flowers, smoking pipes. The neatened jumbles brought to mind Manny Farber’s domestic still-life self-portraits, themselves descended from centuries-old paintings by artists who used wall and tabletop as organizing surfaces of the memory and psyche, as well as storyboards of cultural history.