The Hunter Gather gallery is off the beaten track for art galleries, ensconced in its intimate space on Gulfton Road, just west of 610. One of strengths is providing an opportunity for emerging artists to present work that may be experimental in nature.
The current Concealed Revealed shows the work of three artists: Cathie Kayser, Sandria Hu, and Sandra York.
Kayser works in black and white, or in muted tones. Her small work "Caught" is minimalist to an extreme, and I had difficulty becoming involved with it. Her larger work "Caught in a Net of My Own Making" has a similar problem, and the title here may be emblematic - if one shares too little, one may be expected to pay a price.
Kayser redeems herself with "I Just Find a Line and Follow It", perhaps also minimalist but here rewarding. This is a collection of 18 line drawings, each about 8x10", framed as one work, with three across and six down. Since there are 18 differing styles at work, the work is deliberately not designed to be beautiful, but because it offers so much variety it captures interest. The choices of line drawings are so rich that the eye hardly knows where to travel. We learn a bit about the endless possibilities of lines curving into themselves, and I quite came to admire Kayser in her more giving mode.
Sandria Hu's work is more colorful, and has a large element of "assemblage", as she incorporates different textures and materials, some intentionally discordant. Her "Clay and Smoke #36" uses drab brown as its primary color, surely a sign of artistic courage -- or bravado -- but it remains enticing as the splashes of color enliven the work -- even the ample use of white seems welcome against this background.
I liked a lot her abstract "Clay and Smoke #8", mixed media, which has shape and passion. Hu often incorporates slivers of a fabric or paint, thin but jarring, at the edge of a work, to remind us that her work is not decorative, and does so here. Hu's work is largely abstract, but in the small yet powerful "Budapest #8" she does provide representational dark tree branches that dominate and intrigue.
With all Hu's significant care in creating these works, some elements seem unfinished. When different panels are juxtaposed, we have come to expect a smoother joining than sometimes used by Hu. And there is one panel where the edge was not fully painted before assembly, providing a white sliver that seems careless rather than intentional.
Sandra York's artist statement reads, in part: "Whimsical lines and unrecognizable objects are the surprises. They remind us that it takes trust to face the unknown - life's mysteries." York ensures that the mysteries are not revealed, as she paints over more clearly defined objects or people to mask them, giving her art a dreamlike quality. She ends her statement with "Enjoy", but I found this request difficult to honor. Two of her works, "The Unsayable" and "Exposed Bar Joist" use splashes of red which dominate an otherwise subdued landscape of the mind.
Her quieter "Mid-Century Still Life" includes large but very shadowy sketched figures, what looks like a high chair for a child, some bowls for a still life on a sketchy shelf, and what I took to be a primitive horse, much like a cave drawing, on a wall in the background. One senses that there is a clear connection between this work and the artist's perception of life, but I was unable to find the connection between the work and myself. Yet I did enjoy it, so York may have the last word after all.
Concealed Revealed, through August 23, Hunter Gather Gallery, 5320 Gulfton, Suite 15, open Monday to Friday 11 to 6, and Saturday 1 to 5, 713-664-3302, or online at huntergatherproject.com.
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