Review: Julie Beguin and Amy Bowles at Paul Petro.

December 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Beguin "Transparency" (Petro)

In the little gallery of Paul Petro Contemporary, two interesting, yet different, female artists are presenting their solo exhibitions. On the lower floor are the large expressionistic works of the painter, Julie Beugin in her exhibit “Blaue Stunde.” In the smaller upstairs space, multi-disciplinary artist Amy Bowles displays “In the Gargoyle’s head,” her show of petite ceramics and paintings.

“Blaue Strunde” is German for “Blue Hour,” a phrase describing the transitional instant between night to day. Beguin paints otherworldly scenes of this space, merging interior with exterior; the artificial light merges with the natural bringing the forms into one. The architectural elements of Beugin’s work are combined with a unique use of bold colors and pastels to create a distinctive mood in the small front room.

Bowles "untitled" (Petro)

To reach the second exhibit, one has to navigate the narrow hallways and stairwell of the gallery. “In the Gargoyle’s Head,” only occupies one wall of the second floor room. A jumble of Bowles’ absurd sculptures are presented in front of her series of paintings. These seem to be individual still life depictions similar to her ceramic works. The series of multiples is inspired by a combination of the artist’s fantasy and memory, and derived from the Gothic. It is impossible to see these grotesque pottery figurines as a separate entity from one another. They become one of many and thus bring a kitsch quality to the traditional gargoyle image.

Though the space of Paul Petro Contemporary is limited, the displays are organized in a communicative manner. However, the choice to present two such diverse artists – who appear to have little in common – at the same time is odd, since they seem to derive little from one another. The only commonality in their work is that they mutually follow the surrealist doctrine established by André Breton: both bodies of work have unlikely juxtapositions, which create truly surrealist forms.

Both shows run at Paul Petro until December 23.

– Sophia Farmer

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