New evoLOUtion Exhibit
The Gallery at The Brown Hotel

Review by Keith Waits

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The Gallery at The Brown has featured the work of local artists quite often in the past. But under the auspices of new Gallery Director Talia Piccini, it appears to be extending its reach into a newer generation of emerging artists. New evoLOUtion gathers an eclectic mix of styles and media from Ashley Brossart, Bill Carner, Chris Chappell, Aron Conaway, Jae Grady, Shawna Khalily, Thaniel Ion Lee, Keith Linton, David Iacovazzi-Pau, Alexandra Roisen-Tash, Gibbs Rounsavall and Ted Wathen.  

Artist Keith Linton, whose own work is included, coordinated the exhibit. If it appears that Mr. Linton has simply reached out to his estimable network of artist -friends to collect this work, the range of quality of what is on display is strong enough to make any claims of nepotism seem churlish. Although short on sculptural work (one of the drawbacks of the tidy space) the collection of paintings, drawings and photographs are diverse enough to allow a little something for any taste.

The large number of pieces are hung salon style, stacked on top of one another so as to pack in as much work as possible – which is the primary fault here. The work is very good, but the crowded walls create some visual clashes despite the care evident in Mr. Linton’s choices in installation; and one cannot help but wonder if the work would be better served if the images were given a bit more room to breathe.

Ashley Brossart, “Washington & Wenzel Butchertown,” oil on canvas, 2012.
Ashley Brossart’s visceral and sweeping application of the medium turns “Washington & Wenzel Butchertown” into a surprisingly kinetic impression of the local community landscape, and her work overall was very strong. One of the few 3-D pieces was the intricate construction of Ms. Brossart’s “Churches and Steeples.” The folded paper piece hung off of a column that interrupts the room – a precarious placement that emphasized its delicacy and intimate scale.

David Iacovazzi-Pau, “Moulay,” oil on canvas, 2012.
Another dominant group of work was portraits by David Iacovazzi-Pau. One grouping of four and another oversize piece, “Moulay,” is situated to catch your eye as you enter the room. The oil-on-canvas photo-realist image is intriguingly smeared as if digital images had suffered some distress, lending the otherwise straightforward portraits a slightly surrealistic tone.

Ted Wathen, Big Four Bridge, Detail.  2010.
The most seasoned of the group, photographer Ted Wathen, provides three epic-scale prints that discover beautiful repetition in the support structures of local Ohio River bridges. “John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge #2” is simply stunning. Conversely, Aron Conaway makes compelling the idiosyncratic juxtaposition of objects both whimsical and enigmatic in his three photographs, including an amphibian contemplating three drops of bright paint in “Burrough’s Toad.”

There would seem to be no end of good work to talk about: Jae Grady’s paintings on reclaimed window panes that evoke stained glass images both visually and thematically and Gibbs Rounsavall’s immediately identifiable round panels filled with bright, tightly composed patterns of color are just two more examples.

It will be interesting to see how this new trend in programming develops for the Gallery at the Brown Hotel. Although overcrowded, this is a strong group; whether it constitutes a clear declaration of intent remains to be seen. Watch this space.

New evoLOUtion Exhibit

February 15 – March 17, 2013

The Gallery at the Brown Hotel

355 West Broadway

Louisville, KY 40202

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m-9 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.