Whitehot Magazine’s critic Megan Abrahams recently reviewed the gallery’s current solo exhibition by the Clayton Brothers. We congratulate the artists on her positive appraisal of the show!
Playful, poignant, popping with color, bordering on quizzical, this broad and engaging exhibit by the Clayton Brothers explores evocative narrative themes extrapolated from the scene of a thrift shop in Sun Valley, California. This body of work is characterized by a quality of spontaneity, which in part may be attributed to the brothers’ process. Working on the same pieces at different times, they overlap, making it unclear where one brother may have left off and the other picked up. The style of these works also has a sense of immediacy. A preponderance of the pieces are free-form mixed media works on paper, sometimes combining elements of collage and assemblage with drawing and painting. Dynamic, gestural and layered with color as they are, the work manages to capture a sense of the excitement shoppers might feel on discovering treasures among the cast-off items at the store. Contributing to the sense of nostalgia, consistent with the thrift store theme, the works are framed in pastel colors reminiscent of the palette and luster of 1950s-era Fiestaware pottery…
Rob and Christian Clayton may be poking fun at thrift store culture, but in a gentle way, without a hint of malice. Even the darker aspects — the borderline hoarding and obsessive browsing, the economic context that requires purchasing used consumer goods — are conveyed with a sense of benevolence and self-awareness as to their own participation and embrace of the thrifting system. Open to the Public might be seen as a light-hearted homage to the appeal of found object as an art-historical trope, as well as to the quasi-performative thrill of the act of repurposing and recontextualizing a humble, discarded thing.
“Open to the Public” will close today, September 27, 2014. For information about the artists, or available work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org