Two Artists and a Simple Space it’s All it Takes

by sgarzon

Exhibition Review                                                                                                                                                                                                              Exhibition title: Miranda Putman and Susan Preston.                                                                                                                                                                 July 2011

B. Sakata – Curated by Barry Sakata                                                                                                                                                                                                 Group show featuring Miranda Putman and Susan Preston

Having toured 7 art galleries last 2nd Saturday, B. Sakata show was literary refreshing. Although the exhibit was well created, being clean and inviting, the excellence is prized to the artists Miranda Putman and Susan Preston.

The Artist Miranda Putman has a definitely interesting use of line, while the texture of the graphite and charcoal gives the work a sense of endless meaning. One could look at Putman’s work for hours, finding new contours and new expressions of the line every time. The negative spaces that are created within the lines leaves a lot of room for the viewer to emerged in an infinite sea of interpretations, thus, allowing them to have their own experience while looking at the work.

Putman’s has created a series that explores how a simple line can provide rich and interesting dynamisms. The “Line” has a quality that most people underestimate; it provides a tremendous amount of opportunity, in terms of thickness, texture and shapes. The artist also makes visible erased traces of initial lines to compose a continuous of energy that is trying to tell us something. Juxtaposed over one another, think, round, broken or erased the line forms a path of expectations.

On the other hand, artist Susan Preston works somewhat differently. Although, Putman’s and Preston’s works can coexist with coherence in a single gallery space each one of them have fundamentally very different uses of the qualities of art, as well as themes and styles.

Putman’s work is definitely formalist, while Preston’s gives us a lot more concept. Having designed stylized baby’s figures and other human-figure types she incorporates within her composition words and phrases that create meaning. Interpretations are let for the viewer to make, as he/she makes their own associations.

Typically, she will use only one or two figures in each composition, playing with them to let the viewer know that there is something else that she is trying to say. In general her work has a mysterious undertone, which can be due to her particular choice of palette that rages between plain black, white and dirt like gray or brown. There is definitely subtleness in her careful trace that makes us think hard of the meaning of her pieces. The characters talk to us in a language that we do not know, but know to a certain degree that what is being expressed is important.

Although thematically and stylistically different, the work of both Preston and Putman is compelling and intriguing. Barry Sakata has done a good job by introducing their work in a jointly effort. The show hangs clean and inviting. The works are installed with enough space from one and other, and while they have been group by artist, looking at opposite walls the works of these two artists exert a harmonious energy.  Within the gallery space, Susan’s and Miranda’s work dialogue. They converse about the beauty of line contours and yet the complexity of well formed figures.  As Putman takes us through an unknown journey, Preston creates meaning with similar artistic qualities. They definitely complement each other when it comes to the intersection between technique and concept.