Sunday, December 4, 2011

Art that makes you want to laugh and cry

Friday night I was one of the fortunate people invited to the opening of Alan Avery's exhibit, The Glass Ceiling, and after party. The man knows how to put together a show and he knows how to throw an awesome party.

Dancers from GloATL were part of the entertainment. They wove in and out of the crowd, edgy, opening questions that teased the audience without providing all the clues. This is a company that never has a down performance.

Art by the likes of Louise Nevelson, Helen Frankenthaler and Kara Walker were the impressive attractions for this celebration of Avery's 30th year anniversary of his gallery. A survivor by any measure. I have to admit I was in awe of Nevelson and Frankethaler. History was on the walls.

However, it was Kara Walker's work that took my breath away. This woman manages to create beautiful silhouettes of black people in motion. She exaggerates their features so you know they have to be black. And while their grace and delicacy are literally gorgeous, the stories they tell make the heart ache. These are masterpieces. What Walker has done negates the current trend that elevates the vulgar and the ugly. She has trashed the theory that exhibiting skill and beauty is out of fashion. Not surprisingly, most of her pieces had red dots next to them. Smart collectors? Probably. People who simply fell in love with the work. Just as likely. I did.

Thank you, Allen.

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