You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Review: Much notable work in contemporary Southeastern artists’ exhibit


“The New South II” at Kai Lin Art offers plenty of reassurance that the Southeast has a diversity of talent in an endless variety of forms. This juried group show of works on paper (with some notable exceptions) by 39 artists is the second (and stronger) of Kai Lin’s two large survey shows dedicated to Southeastern artists, with work this go-around chosen by jurors Veronica Kessenich, executive director of Atlanta Contemporary, and Michael White, director of the Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University.

RELATED: On myAJC.com: Review: Some hidden gems in sprawling, overburdened ‘The New South’

Though work in “The New South II” veers from abstraction to portraiture and from photography to sculpture and tackles subjects as diverse as celebrity culture and Southern food, you could say that — generally speaking — “The New South II” gravitates toward two poles: on one hand, cheeky; and on the other, political and socially engaged.

For the nutty side, exhibit A, the oddball collages of Axelle Kieffer, whose staid woman and boy in formal Victorian dress sport outrageous steampunk-meets-extraterrestrial masks. Compelling in their quiet surrealism, Joshua Chambers’ delicate drawings are surrounded by a satisfying sea of empty space and show people in improbably magic realist situations: a man with a bird’s wing for an arm or a woman on a bed with a man in scuba gear watching the water rise, licking at her feet from her queen-size raft.

Also just shy of wacky are Alea Hurst’s portraits of modern-day saints wearing gold halos as they flip burgers at an outdoor barbecue or show off their tattooed torsos, and Charlie Watt’s Catherine Opie-esque image of a nude lady beekeeper sporting the tools of her trade. Meanwhile R. Andrew Munoz’s deceptively childlike cut paper collages contain undercurrents of violence: spilled bottles of wine and hockey-masked killers lurking outside suggest things are not as Colorforms as they seem. Amusing commentary on the overvaluing of our role as consumers and the sanctity of buying, Raoul Pacheco offers up clever gilt sales receipts.

There’s a subtle but palatable strain of black identity in “The New South II” that gives the show some heft and heart, from the straightforward but sweet photograph of a black father supporting his son on his shoulders in Stephen Philms’ “Shoulders of Hope” to Alex Christopher Williams’ image “Atlanta, GA” of a black barbershop decorated with affirmations of black masculinity in photographs of Muhammad Ali and LeBron James. There are Joe Dreher’s images “Madison” and “Red” of a black man and child, hands over heart, waving a tiny flag, draped in a stars and stripes bandanna, as if to assert the resilience of belief and loyalty despite all odds.

Jamaal Barber’s graphic, iconic linocut, “Untamed/Free,” and Mia Merlin’s watercolor “Southern Woman 3” are bookend works; portraits of empowered, assertive young black women.

There are some interesting formal experiments in “The New South II,” as well, notably Lynx Nguyen’s “Ultimate Heaven,” an oddly transcendent work considering its lowbrow medium: ballpoint pen worked over the paper surface so intensely it soaks into and ripples the paper, creating topographic ridges and gaps, or abrades it, in some places revealing the pulp beneath.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Privileged child steals for the thrill
Privileged child steals for the thrill

Q: We’ve just been informed that our 7-year-old son has been effectively “expelled” from the private school he attended last year because of repeated instances of stealing small items from classmates and, on one occasion, from the teacher’s desk. We’re rather shocked because our son was the highest-performing student in...
Anxiety and depression do not define who we are
Anxiety and depression do not define who we are

Hi. My name is Patricia and I am a recovering anxious Christian. I hid behind the smile and said everything was great, even though my world was falling apart. I lied to myself that I could handle one more item on my to-do list, even though I knew I was about to hit a wall and crash. And I believed that my anxious days were behind me, only to find out...
Faith calendar
Faith calendar

Back-to-school and health fair: Students of all ages and parents from the West End will have access to gently used uniforms and books, free haircuts, informational breakout sessions, health and wellness resources, children’s activities and more during a back-to-school and health fair. Supplies will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve...
Valerie Hoff sues 11Alive over recent termination for social media N-word usage
Valerie Hoff sues 11Alive over recent termination for social media N-word usage

Valerie Hoff worked at 11Alive for 18 years. CREDIT: publicity photo This was posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog Valerie Hoff, a former veteran 11Alive reporter, has sued the NBC affiliate for what she deemed “breach of contract” after she was forced...
Bossip TV show on WE-TV shooting in Atlanta for summer test run
Bossip TV show on WE-TV shooting in Atlanta for summer test run

The Bossip on WE crew. (Left-right) comedy contributor Ronnie Jordan, associate editor Alex Ford, Mara “The Hip Hop Socialite,” comedy contributor Tyler, associate editor Danielle “Dani” Canada, managing editor Janee Bolden, associate editor Jason Lee) CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com This was posted...
More Stories