Don’t Miss: Christian Davies and Noah Ptolemy, “Either/Or” at Incline Gallery

by Admin on 07/02/2013

Either/Or, a dual exhibition at Incline Gallery features new artworks by local artists Christian Davies and Noah Ptolemy. It presents two artists working in disparate approaches: Davies’ abstract works influenced by traditional design contrast sharply with, but concurrently give dimension to, Ptolemy’s figurative cartoon-like narratives, which seem to be inspired by popular visual culture.

San Francisco-based artist Christian Davies continues his exploration into American quilting techniques, appropriating the craft tradition and its iconic patterns and symbols and translating into fine paintings with a modernist slant for contemporary audiences. Davies’ new, large works look more geometric than in previous exhibitions, and seem to eschew his previous experiments in tessellations, and working more towards organic patterns and elemental figurations. In this way, through his deviation from the common quilting patterns and designs he both implements and independently creates, Davies reaches a new layer in his enduring examination of his images’ dimensional qualities and texture. The new paintings in Either/Or are a continuation in the direction of simplifying elements of painting to further understand the concepts surrounding the boundary between art and life. By halting their repetitious balance and symmetry, Davies evokes images and meaning beyond both the plane of patterns he disrupts and the surface of his compositions.

Noah Ptolemy, a Berkeley artist who spent his formative years in Japan builds an entirely original social environment upon which to create his painting suite, filled with a bizarre compilation of characters performing within an obscure narrative, perhaps mythic rituals or everyday tasks. His characters,  influenced by Japanese contemporary visual culture, specifically Manga, offers multiple readings of the same image: they can be read as a single character involved in multiple activities, or as multiple characters engaged with each other. Ptolemy offers us individual expressions, facial features, and clothing colors as just some indicators of possible individuality. Says Ptolemy, “My pictures are a meeting point for the characters I’ve developed to come to terms with something larger than themselves.”

Either Or will be at Incline Gallery through July 5.