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Jerry Carniglia/Randy Colosky
Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, San Francisco, California
Recommendation by DeWitt Cheng


Continuing through March 28, 2013


The lyrical paintings of Jerry Carniglia and the witty conceptual sculptures of Randy Colosky seem an odd pairing, but the works nicely complement each other. Carniglia’s show, "Continuous Compounding," is comprised of four oils on canvas (“Soul Blind,” “Aphanisis,” “Upper World,” “Madonna”) that depict ambiguous, almost abstract floral forms set in dark spaces which are glowing with color. Each is a romantic invocation of Nature, sublime and awe-inspiring, infused with a Baroque energy and poetic feeling that is reminiscent of Morris Graves. Two additional oils on paper set flat silhouettes of odd, incomprehensible tools against blank backgrounds (“Concrete,” “Experience”). Carniglia depicts, in a skeptical, nihilistic age, the invisible forces of natural phenomena — no longer considered, these days, subservient to clever human culture. (Aphanasis, by the way, refers to the fading away of a subject; Carniglia interprets this art-historically, as the making of objects that no longer command belief.) 


Colosky’s sculptures argue, at least implicitly, for human ingenuity; his own, at least, is well demonstrated in the four sculptures and two gunpowder-assisted drawings comprising "Another Shape of Things That Happened Again." In “A Hollow Gesture,” broken segments of custom-made red brick “sticks” are stacked in layers, igloo-like, to form an imposing basket-like enclosure that could be easily toppled — or recycled. “Ghost in the Machine” employs a similar accretion of elements, here, metal tubes stacked inside a metal frame, like bottles in a wine rack. As the eye moves over this array, a luminous halation arises, and moves with the eye, perhaps a metaphor for human consciousness arising from matter, the subject of Arthur Koestler’s eponymous book. H.G. Wells’ 1933 novel about life after apocalypse would seem to be the starting point for Colosky’s “Another Shape of Things to Come, Part 4,” a molecular-looking sculpture made of welded stainless steel spheres. “Monument” depicts, in patinated white bronze trompe-l’oeil, a fragment of packing Styrofoam. The two “Now and Forever” 'drawings' depict snowflakes or stars, made of gold leaf in paper, the intricate, delicate crystal forms formed by big-bang shotgun blasts.

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