CTRL Gallery Show is Elegant, Riveting and...Icky?

Playing Cards in the Dark, Emilio Perez
Playing Cards in the Dark, Emilio Perez
Courtesy of CTRL Gallery

It's dueling painters at CTRL Gallery, with work by Emilio Perez in one half of the gallery and Myungjin Song in the other. Working in slightly muddied, gray and mauve hues, Perez offers up ironic gestural abstractions. At first glance, they appear to be a lot of bravura brushstrokes, until you see that each stroke is self-consciously outlined. Perez has taped them off, creating a stylized effect that is reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein's brush stroke paintings, albeit on a much smaller and more densely packed scale.

They're nice, but the strategy and color scheme can start to feel repetitive when shown in large numbers. Meanwhile, Song is working the red-green complementary colors with strangely visceral paintings. Dark-green surfaces, pinched, folded, dented or tied, read as fabric - and flesh; red blood cell-like dots are scattered and spattered across them. In other works, pinkish goo seems to ooze out from an unknown source, creating intestine-like forms. As admittedly icky as the descriptions sound, there is something elegant and riveting about the work.

(Through December 23, CTRL Gallery, 3907 Main Street, 713-523-2875)

Folding Mountain, Myungjin Song
Folding Mountain, Myungjin Song
Courtesy of CTRL Gallery

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