Review: Tropic of Capricorn at Katherine Mulherin.

February 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

David Kramer

Fortunately, I managed to catch the Tropic of Capricorn: A January Salon exhibit at the Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects on its second last day and get a good look at the stunning juxtaposition of artwork they arranged. Unfortunately, it is now closed, but is still in my opinion well worth reviewing. Featuring works by Dean Baldwin, Mike Bayne, Alika Cooper, Carl D’Alvia, the exhibit made you think of nothing but leaving the snow and wind and vacationing somewhere hot.

Although a healthy medley of sculpture, photography and painting, what dominated the exhibit were the energetic paintings of David Kramer. Not only were there many of them, and mostly painted on large canvases, but they really give off that tropical vibe that the exhibit seemed to be aiming at. With images of socialites taking it easy on the beach, by the fireside or next to their Cadillac, Kramer captures our desire for relaxation. On each painting a string of phrases are painted in block letters on the top and or bottom, a la Barbara Kruger, narrating either the artist’s or the figure’s insecurities and personal dilemmas.

Carl D'Alvia "It"

But the exhibit wouldn’t have been what it was without a good contrasting piece. And it sure provided many. D’Alvia’s bronze “It” sculpture sat in the middle of the gallery, looking just like his namesake Cousin Itt from the Addams Family, now cast in bronze, and somehow my eye just kept coming back to “It.”

While Kramer’s 70’s style tropical scenes take you off to a far-away land, Bayne’s incredible hyper-realist paintings, made on photograph-sized canvas, pull you back to reality. Including beautiful monochrome paintings by Alika Cooper and photography by Dean Baldwin, this exhibit at the Katherine Mulherin was a lovely distraction from those winter blues.

Tropic of Capricorn ran from January 12-29.

-Anne Deck

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