Capsule Art Reviews: "Ruth Pastine: Ever Present," "Jason Salavon: Annex and Catalogue,"

"Ruth Pastine: Ever Present" Ruth Pastine's paintings at Gallery Sonja Roesch have some amazingly subtle coloration going on. What at first seem to be shadows on ostensibly monochromatic minimalist works are actually faint underlays of color. Using a tiny brush and thin layers of paint, Pastine builds up delicate, luminous breaths of color in her work. Playing with the color opposites of red and green in Mobius (2008), she slowly shifts a line of seven small square canvases from a minty green to a rosy pink. At one end, pink burrows into the center of the green and gradually makes it way to the edges in subsequent paintings, while a green seems to simultaneously burrow out from the center of the pink. I'm not quite sure how Pastine pulls these paintings off; when you stand up close and try to "see" the color shifts, everything seems to be one hue. It's only when you step away that the color shifts reveal themselves. Maybe Pastine has a very, very long brush.... Through July 5. 2309 Caroline, 713-659-5424. — KK

"Jason Salavon: Annex and Catalogue" Jason Salavon alters images using software of his own design. In early works, he averaged the colored pixels of ten years of scanned Playboy centerfolds in order to create a fuzzy, vaguely feminine, visual mean. He applied the same tactic to images of homes for sale in Dallas and came up with a vaguely ranch-style product. Recent video pieces by the artist are currently on view at Inman Gallery. Salavon is as smart as ever, but the work is disappointingly protracted. Catalogue to the Sun and Moon (2007) is a video projection of a realistic, digitally rendered living room furnished with "products modeled on the wares of IKEA, Design Within Reach, and other upscale retailers." Apparently, if you hang around long enough, the furniture slowly morphs from one product to another, the coffee table shifting from a simple metal number to a simple wood number, the generically clean-lined sofa shifting from fabric to leather. The overwhelming sameness of mass-produced, tastefully modern furniture is a point to be made, but the evolution is so slow nobody is going to stick around for it. To appreciate it, you'd have to buy the piece and live with it. Making people watch video for an interminable length of time while they wait for something subtle to happen is a tired and annoying strategy. Through July 5. 3901 Main, 713-526-7800. — KK

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Kelly Klaasmeyer
Contact: Kelly Klaasmeyer