Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saira McLaren, "A closing eyelid, a tiny fainting spell" @ Mulherin + Pollard

Yeah, Saira McLaren kicks ass. I loved her pink tie-dye painting of an abstract mountain with a line of bleach across the top the second I saw it at Small Black Door. She also recently appeared in Julie Torres’s enjoyable painting survey at Parallel. I am pretty psyched that she is getting a show on the Lower East Side, seems like things are a happening for her, and it’s well deserved. Her paintings involve a lot of pink and bright airy colors that complement the pink. The colors lay like the most attractive blemishes ever, on a raw visible canvas, often seeming to float and almost bump into each other. Occasionally, the shapes are traversed by dark squiggly lines that dissipate at the edges as if applied with spray paint. I find the work hard not to love, the raw canvas and light application of color have a strong tie-dyed hippie context, but the radiance of the color palate seems to wash away any of the negative connotations one might associate with hippies and just leaves me feeling up. The work is accompanied by little ceramic sculptures that are used for stands for some of the paintings. The objects are white with similar squiggly lines to those in the paintings. The objects feel extraneous, but not without promise, and it’s always nice to see an artist pushing the limits of what it is they do, even if the immediate results aren’t resolved. But as of right now, Saira McLaren is easily my favorite painter.

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