Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scott Lyall, Indiscretion @ Miguel Abreu Gallery

Spoiler alert, the show involves some Olafur Eliasson-like optical illusion work, and reading about the paintings ahead of time might ruin the experience of the illusion. So if you’re gonna go, stop reading. If you think that makes the show sound gimmicky and you’re already turned off, well, at least you’re still reading, so I feel good about that. Anyway, I walked into the show on the suggestion of a painting friend and was a little disappointed. It’s more or less a room of white canvases broken up on the wall by a few black canvases. As unoffensive as this kind of minimalism is, now that it has been fully separated from its original context, it also can be hella boring. But as I feigned interest to humor my painting bud, something very nice happened. The white paintings transformed, Hyper-Colors style, into very subtle gradations of bright pastel colors. As best as I can figure, either I am a lazy looker and just didn’t notice the gradation at first or, and I am running with this explanations, your brain auto-color-corrects for you. When you’re in a room of fluorescent light, instead of seeing that light as it is (i.e., green), your eye sees it as white because it is conditioned to see light as white. But the more you look at the paintings, your brain starts to notice the flecks of color and then the subtle gradations rush at you, and all the white paintings are transformed instantaneously into a pleasant subtle palate. Gimmicky, sure, but I thought it was fun, and as conceptual op-art goes, I thought it was pretty damn cool.

Through Apr. 14th


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