Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hypercolor @ Small Black Door

Having become familiar of late with Matthew Mahler’s paintings, it is easy to see his hand as the curator of Hypercolor. The exhibition takes the form of a visual conversation he is having in his head, a discussion that revolves heavily around geometry, a bright almost early 90’s color palate and a touch of the hippie by way of the young cool people of Brooklyn. As bad as that might sound when it comes together it is an impressive feat, because as any self-aware cool person from Brooklyn knows, as much as these things prevail in our tastes and our collective DNA, they are also things to be met with scorn. Being accessible to those whose main object is to be inaccessible is a line that one walks by titling a show on a short-lived t-shirt technology. But to Mahler’s credit, the show pulls off being hip, contemporary, even, dare I say cool without making you want to flog yourself for enjoying it (like the feeling one gets from reading Vice). For me the show could have just been Saira McLaren’s excellent tie-die looking mountain range of pink and purple with caps of bleach on raw canvas. If you could imagine the Grateful Dead covering Cezanne in whatever form that might manifest itself, I think the show might make some sense. And I’ll also throw in the terribly enjoyable geometrical hipster death mask paintings of Ziad Naccache. An enjoyable and challenging little show.

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