Erica Baum, E.J. Bellocq, Bobbie Oliver, Alyce Santoro, Jo-ey Tang
Slow Numbers is an exhibition of five artists whose work combines abstraction with a heavy reliance on the unexpected within their medium. Perhaps this embrace is what allows each work to reverberate with such enigmatic force.
Erica Baum’s photographs of downturned book pages reconfigure found text to create poems ambiguous in both form and content. The aged pages of the vintage books reveal color changes and other abstractions inherent in their new formal pose.
E.J. Bellocq’s portraits of women in Storyville, the legendary early 20th century New Orleans red-light district, were discovered and printed after the photographer’s death. The circumstances surrounding the erasure of several of the women’s faces in the series remain unclear. The remarkably complicit initial portraits contrast with these captured instants of social chaos.
Bobbie Oliver’s work reveals a highly instinctual vision of painted abstraction, based largely on her sensitivity to natural inspiration. Conscious belief in the information held within her materials and color choices, yields images suggestive of multiple mental and physical states at once.
Alyce Santoro’s Sonic Fabric is a textile woven of polyester thread and recorded audiocassette tape, containing looped and layered samples of found, created, and collected sounds from around New York City. A reconfigured cassette player can be rubbed across the surface of the fabric to offer an audible glimpse into its current garbled state.
Jo-ey Tang’s sandpaper drawings elicit ghostly figures, derived from the nature of their utilitarian backdrop. Created by scratching the paper on the artist’s studio floor and walls, the alternately delicate and jagged forms seem to long to return to the deposits that previously concealed them.