Deborah Colton Gallery: “Chemical City”

Marianne Vitale sneaked into a refinery to steal crude oil for her aptly named Crude Oil on Silk series for “Chemical City” at Deborah Colton Gallery. We’re not sure if this puts Vitale on a terror watch list, but it does make for some of the best toxic art we’ve seen this year. The airtight-encased oil-on-silk paintings feature her colorful, amorphous drawings which look like something out of Aeon Flux. This idea is expanded into a large, silk (and nontoxic) mural which resembles a skyline used as the backdrop for her installation, Crude Cityscape. Vitale exercised her thievery skills once again at a nearby dumpsite on Studemont to acquire the found objects used to front the mural. Pieces of an old picket fence, banana tree leaves and metal domes painted to look like Asian parasols give a corner of the gallery a little Oriental flavor. Vitale is one of the artists featured in the exhibit meant to explore ideas of life in New York City. Other works include Maripol’s old Polaroids of 80s legends such as Deborah Harry, Basquiat and Madonna; Jonas Mekas’s blown-up negatives of other celebrities including Jackie Kennedy, Andy Warhol and Michael Scorsese; and Agathe Snow’s video installation of a 24-hour dance party at Ground Zero. See these as well as photos and sculptures from Michel Auder, Herbert Kretzschmar and Michael Portnoy from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. 2500 Summer. The exhibit runs through November 3. For information, call 713-869-5151 or visit Free.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 8. Continues through Nov. 3, 2007


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