Capsule Art Reviews: "Danny Rolph: Multiverse," "The New Black: Contemporary Concepts in Color and Abstraction," "Quantumdada Phase 2"

"Danny Rolph: Multiverse" Danny Rolph's painted abstraction looks like a cross between a Kurt Schwitters collage and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album cover. Rolph creates his work on triplewall polycarbonate panels — the stuff touted as a replacement for plywood hurricane panels. (You can shoot a 2x4 at it!) Sandwiching panels together, Rolph layers his painted forms with collaged imagery. (The show includes elements as diverse as spark plug diagrams, '80s band photos and a sunflower needlepoint pattern.) The odd conglomerations of references and forms blend into patterns. They're nice pieces, but without any particularly dominant images in any of the works, they tend to run together. And quantity dilutes their appeal. Seeing three of Rolph's paintings is great, but see five and they start to feel repetitive. Through November 13. Barbara Davis Gallery, 4411 Montrose, 713-520-9200. — KK

"The New Black: Contemporary Concepts in Color and Abstraction" "The New Black" is chock-full of just that — color and abstraction. Organized by Sally Sprout, the show features Michael Guidry's otherworldly, hard-edged, tape-intensive paintings. Filled with fractured, glacier-like forms, they evoke alien landscapes. Jonathan Leach is also a heavy tape user, employing it to create his boldly colored, highly geometric forms. Executed over multiple joined canvases and thick slabs of Plexiglas, Leach's bright, often Day-Glo paintings rival Peter Halley's for lurid intensity. Meanwhile, Myke Venable is joining his monochrome paintings together, turning the works themselves into compositions, and Katherine Veneman is offering up abstraction of a more lyrical nature with layers of swirls, lines and planes of color that reveal the hand — and brush — of the artist. Through November 26. Williams Tower Gallery, 2800 Post Oak Blvd., 713-939-1444. — KK

"Quantumdada Phase 2" This show is a decidedly eclectic assemblage of work that in one way or another relates to curator Volker Eisele's conceptions of quantum physics, Dada and quantum physics-meets-Dada. Trying to puzzle out how each work is supposed to relate to the show's theme is kinda headache-inducing, but taken on an individual basis, there are some interesting pieces in the show. Works by Greg Metz and David Graeve give you an idea of the show's range. Metz offers up Bush Cozy, a tragicomic Kleenex dispenser. It's a bronze head of George W. Bush with tissues coming out of the empty cranium and a plaque that reads "MY DEEPEST REGRETS TO THOSE WHO HAVE SACRIFICED THEIR LOVED ONES FOR MY IRAQ WAR." In the same room is Graeve's Lama Drubwang (Anti Matte) Max Planck 10-34 Planck Time. The piece is a giant orangey-red balloon, and I do mean giant; at eight feet in diameter, it takes up most of the gallery and represents an estimation of the size of the universe at the beginning of the Big Bang. Which suddenly makes the piece seem incredibly small and unimaginably dense. Through November 20. Rudolph Blume Fine Art/ArtScan Gallery, 1836 Richmond, 713-807-1836. — KK

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Kelly Klaasmeyer
Contact: Kelly Klaasmeyer