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Young at Art

Glassell School's Core show reveals the heart, soul and blood-sugar levels of its visiting artists

Emily Joyce's abstract vinyl collages look like she ripped a painting from its canvas and splatted it onto the wall. Made from the adhesive vinyl used for signage, Joyce's constructions are cut from stencils the artist has made or purchased. The geometric and goofy organic shapes are built upon each other in brilliantly colored free-form masses adhered directly to the wall surface. They work well released from the circumscribed space of a rectilinear picture plane, sort of like "Peel-n-Stick" paintings. Think of the surfaces you could adhere them to -- car hoods, refrigerator doors, ceilings, television screens, the bathroom mirror. Very cool.

Melissa Thorne's abstraction is influenced by the domestic geometry of crocheted afghans as well as the utopian geometry of the Bauhaus. The wall-size Masterplan (2000) is painted in ink on vellum forming multicolored, concentric rectangles. The opacity of the ink brush strokes wavers subtly against the translucent vellum. The visual effect is nice, but something makes me want different scale relationships, bigger stripes, or a smaller surface area, or maybe just a bigger wall for the piece. Vellum comes in limited widths, so the artist had to butt two pieces together, and it's slightly distracting.

In Fraser Stables's video piece Shower Space (2000), a large horizontal Plexiglas light box rests on its side on the floor in a darkened room. A looped video of a man and woman alternately and endlessly showering is projected onto its surface. The image was filmed upright but is projected sideways so the water flows across the luminous surface of the light box, and the bathers seem to be levitating in the horizontal stream of the shower. Technically, projecting on the light box is a great idea. As for the ten-minute video, well, naked people by their very nature always generate a certain amount of interest. After a while you start comparing their showering styles: The guy lifts his feet to wash them; the woman bends down to wash hers. One person enters the shower, washes a bit and leaves as the other one enters and washes, in this endless and haphazard cycle of bathing. It is a well-executed piece, but I felt myself wanting another element, or at least some aspect of the bathing ritual exaggerated.

Cornucopia in repose: Todd Hebert subverts the "wholesome Americana" of the holidays.
Glassell School of Art
Cornucopia in repose: Todd Hebert subverts the "wholesome Americana" of the holidays.
is on view through April 23 at the Glassell School of Art, 5101 Montrose Boulevard.

This year's Core show is certainly worth seeing. It seems stronger than last year's, even if there is nothing as jaw-dropping as Leandro Erlich's amazingly surreal swimming pool. As a group, this year's artists are evenly divided by gender, but it's a pretty white crowd. More ethnic and racial diversity would be an asset, and no, the British don't count. All in all, there are some interesting things being made. Sometimes they hit it more accurately than others, but that's part of the process and risk of making art.

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