With color or not, ORG puts on strong shows

With color or not, ORG puts on strong shows

I’ve been trying to figure out what two shows I have really enjoyed seeing to review, both were at ORG contemporary gallery.

Ryan Parker (left) stands by one of his taller pieces in the same room that Lauren Rice (right) fills with colorful units in a separate exhibition.

Ryan Parker (left) stands by one of his taller pieces in the same room that Lauren Rice (right) fills with colorful units in a separate exhibition.

I first saw Lauren Rice’s collages at MOCAD’s Grand Bazaar, one of the few chances that local artists get to have their work in the museum. Just like the first piece there, her work flows from a keen eye for formalist strategies, focal points, texture, color and shape. Her work in “Vestiges” employs a use of collected fragments and plays with paint in a way that reminds me of other painters that go the sculptural route, see: Janel Schultz. These painters look like they’re having a lot of fun. Their blank canvasses can be crumpled or otherwise three-dimensional forms that lend themselves to a much more adventurous path for paint to take. The works with hints of vases seem to be an dramatic explosion of Dutch flower painting, which in their heyday were about a golden age of prosperity. Does this then imply that Detroit is also in a time of Renaissance for at least its artists growing their own kind of fabulousness among a city that offers little than cheap space and a couple supportive structures for artists to help other artists?

Ryan Parker is actually one of three artists from the exhibition “Constructs”. He along with Ai Krasner and Gretchen Batcheller are three recent graduates of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. His work struck me the most as his process involves using source imagery that informs a realistic perspective with layered silkscreens. The works build in a way that give someone looking at the works from an extreme angle another entry into the pieces. When the light catches each line it reveals how structural the imagery is and one can see how the dark blackness is actually a flat density of marks.

Both artists give the audience two things to look forward to: seeing the work intimately up close and comparing that from its total image from afar. I’d say that ORG has done a great job so far with it’s mission statement to show strong work and give artists a reason and a venue to push themselves. See you at the next show. Oh yeah, and they are have the first finished gallery page that I’ve been editing here.

- Cedric Tai

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Lauren Rice lets her paint go on an adventure

Lauren Rice lets her paint go on an adventure

Visitors to ORG viewing Ryan Parker's piece

Visitors to ORG viewing Ryan Parker's piece