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Review: NFS at Christopher West

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3 stars

"Untitled (Thrift)" by Brian Ulrich
  • "Untitled (Thrift)" by Brian Ulrich

In this most recent exhibit, Christopher West shows us contemporary art by internationally hailed artists bought by Indiana collectors for $20 to $2,000 (sale price and year purchased listed on most exhibition labels).

Reflecting on the commerce end of art is needed in Indy, although no pieces are by Indiana artists and works on view aren't always the best examples by artists represented. This starts the conversation about buying work for investment purposes, for the love of the art or, ideally, both. Who wouldn't want to own an etching by artist Richard Serra?

Repeated dark and heavy lines define ellipses in his "Venice Notebook Series #8" (2002, 55" x 60") and relate to Serra's famous steel sculpture work. Nearby is Laura Owens' beautiful etching with aquatint and airbrush on paper, "Untitled (Berries)" (2001, ed. of 12).

Owens is a painter living in L.A., and her cropped depiction of a tree balances abstraction and formalism with thin washes of yellow and blue underneath textural white globular clusters and bold red berries.

Then there's Elizabeth Peyton's Xerox print, "Flaubert in Egypt (After Delacroix)" (2010, 13" x 50"), purchased last year for $150. The work is hand-signed by the artist – hot as a portrait painter – but will this ephemeral example hold up over time?

At christopher west presents, Dean Johnson Gallery; through Feb. 1.


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