And so on 

Repetition breaks the mold for summer shows

Sandler Hudson Gallery steps out of the group-show paradigm for summer exhibitions this month by reveling in redundancy.

"Summer shows are usually boring; it's something we all do every year," says Robin Sandler, a partner in the gallery. "We called this one Repetition because of the routine; it's the same thing over and over again. Also, we noticed in the work an interest in patterning that makes the show visually interesting."

Unlike the beautifully executed sameness of Lines at Kiang Gallery just a block away, Repetition reveals a more nuanced, textured aesthetic among the individual artists on view. Besides that, there are unusual materials applied to the works; oyster shells, fingernail polish, packing tape, fabric and tiny leaves shape inventive variations on the theme.

The show, which features mostly Atlanta-based talent, introduces seven new artists. Small atmospheric paintings by Donna Mintz and Susan Robert's map-based paintings are mounted in grid designs that emphasize their gestalt. Hope Cohn's eloquent curvilinear black marks on white paper are pinned directly on the wall in another grid. Disassembling that structure (and shifting from his typical social commentary), Mario Petrerina's stacked ceramic building blocks drip with shiny shades of mottled yellow, ooze green and Play-Doh blue.

Next to those measured beats of color, Rebecca Des Marais displays startling work. She embeds freshwater oyster shells in cellulose to create a wave that looks ready to surge off the gallery wall. (The piece could be better located, though. It's behind the reception desk.) The paint in Woody Cornwell's abstraction is equally energized. Thin repeating lines of orange-yellow, looking as if they were squirted on with a mustard dispenser, almost conceal a lime-green doodle beneath.

A couple of artists veer off in new directions. Elizabeth Cain abandons her shaped paintings for a tamer series of abstract botanicals in oil on paper. Teresa Bramlette takes a decided turn from her blown-up bitmapped film stills, picking up a brush to recreate an archaic tropical nature scene accented with thin, parenthetical strokes of watercolor.

Nail polish is Scott Ingram's secret ingredient. He applies blue, mauve, green, black and brick to the narrow color fields that slide down the side of his small patterned works on paper. Ingram's idea resonates more on an intimate scale than it does in some of his larger-scale paintings.

A computer-manipulated drawing series by Tom Ferguson plays with the same notion of slightly varied repetition. Applied to long strips of wood that lean against the wall, his work shares a rough alternative-space style with collages by Raine Bedsole. The New Orleans artist displays small collages on wood that incorporate fortune cookie papers, sewing pattern directions and children's writing paper.

Delicate painted leaves and vines cover the small head of Lilly Cannon's doll assemblage, "She Became Who She Was." Those tiny leaves echo in New York artist Ilene Sunshine's collages nearby. The former Atlantan makes dried leaves into miniature acrobats. In her delightful works on paper, they form a pyramid, a circle and a seedpod. Another New Yorker, Marietta Hoferer transmutes packing tape into a crystalline medium. She creates white-on-white designs on paper that resemble quilt tops or graphic fabric designs.

In the small space at the rear of the gallery, Paula Eubanks constructs a red, white and blue ode to the car in "Auto Repeats." She manipulates the hot rod's innuendo with repetitive and paired, often 3-D photographs. Headlights and tires are, of course, breasts, the grill, a vaginal opening. The distorted nose of a red car becomes a mighty robot-transformer guy. They're all very obvious and very fun allusions to a serious preoccupation with consuming the shiny sex object. As in other strong works on display, Repetition works to Eubanks' aesthetic and conceptual advantage.

Repetitions is on view through Sept. 8 at Sandler Hudson Gallery, 1831-A Peachtree Road. 404-350-8480. Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat noon-5 p.m. and by appointment.

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