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Feibleman / Emmert
Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, California
Recommendation by DeWitt Cheng

Adam Feibleman, ''Walk Lightly 1'' (detail) 2013, hand-cut and sewn stencil set, 30 x 29''.


Continuing through September 7, 2013


Realism gets tweaked and twisted wonderfully in this perfectly complementary pairing of painter/collagist Adam Feibleman and sculptor William Emmert. Feibleman’s show, entitled “Do With Me as You Will,” comprises some forty pieces. Half of these are elegantly stylized spray-enamel views on wood of the urban landscape, with a concentration on pre-Modernist architecture with its decorative grilles and furbelows. The predominant shades of brown, gray and black evolved from a series on redwood tree branches, “The Love Songs.” The intricate detail and complex patterning may remind you of Richard Estes’ paintings, which also use photographs as source material, but Feibleman enriches them obsessively. Accompanying these highly textured paintings are the intricately cut stencils used in making them, sewn together in layers, the white (unpainted) side outward, with the paint overspray further demarcating the X-Actoed edges. The superimposed layers, with their paint-by-number shapes, are suggestive of topographical maps. The chiaroscuro shading, a by-product of Feibleman’s process (shaped by his experience as a graffiti artist and printmaker) create a wonderfully complex conceptual space worthy of “our ever-changing city sculpture, constantly being shaped, broken down and built again.”


Emmert’s show, entitled “A Lot of People Do This,” is comprised of thirteen sculptures made of paper and felt. They cleverly mimic both studio still-life objects and the kind of casual, ironic anti-painting painting that you might see at venues showing younger artists. Emmert just graduated, exhibiting a faux shipping crate to suggest this transition, so his double irony about ‘abject’ art is interesting. (Perhaps this was influenced by his day job in The Theatuh, with its combined artifice and illusionism.) His trompe l’oeil mover’s dolly, painter’s tray, smoke alarm, and wall shelves housing faux stapleguns, baseball trading cards, sketch books, Sharpies and the like may be less “perfect” than Richard Shaw’s porcelain tables and paint tubes (downtown at Gallery Paule Anglim, see the August 9th Weekly Newsletter), but they’re endearing and funny, too — with a nod to Claes Oldenbourg’s Pop simulacra.

Guerrero Gallery

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