Visual Arts

Striving for Perfection: "Asis/Esmeraldo/Espinosa/Lizárraga" at Sicardi Gallery

Work by 79-year-old Argentine artist Antonio Asis is a standout in Sicardi Gallery's thoughtful works-on-paper show. The gallery is showing Asis's geometric work from the 1960s -- small, page-size acrylic works on paper.

Carefully rendered on graph paper, Asis's designs reveal their handmade origins in minute and endearing ways. Gorgeous little bands of color radiate against each other in one work, while in another tiny, pixel-like grids of squares in warm and cool colors look like early computer-generated imagery. A series of small, black-and-white graph-paper paintings explore positive and negative space using circles, semicircles and squares.

Their patterns are beautifully precise, but if you scrutinize them carefully enough, you are rewarded with evidence of the artist's brush straying just a little too far here and there. In an age of masking-taped edges and slick digital geometries, there is something warm and wonderful about seeing the human hand strive for perfection and fail.

Through October 8. 2246 Richmond Avenue, 713-529-1313.

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