Life Cafe Blog

Posts Tagged ‘950hart’

Rachel Echanique @ Life Cafe 983

Exhibition Review
Raquel Echanique
Life Café Bushwick
8th – 20th November 2011

The View from the Bar

Rachel Echanique

By John Sunderland

I always think first impressions count. The first impression I had when seeing this exhibit was; there are five screaming women in the bar that weren’t here yesterday!

It ‘s a bit of a shock actually, like having all your ex-wives show up at brunch and start up on you again!
However relax, once seated at the bar and looking back, you see that the your personal connection has nothing to do with it, these females are not screaming- they are exploding, exploding with energy which is unraveling before your eyes.

The focus of each painting is the mouth. The mouths of the subjects are wide-open and crazy with joy, ecstasy or fear, or all three; it’s up to the viewer. Secondary impressions come, the image of the girl in the strobe-lit disco, a still frame from a riot scene in a magazine; the moment your wife gave birth.
Those images fade along with a catalogue of others; then your brain says, hang on these aren’t faces, they are moments when whiplashes of paint, the flashes of blades of color and line, the un-coiling of springs, conspired momentarily to form faces of women unknown.

Raquel Echanique is the latest artist from the HART950 Gallery; my last review of was about drawing; Echanique is a painter, with a sure-hand mastery over what she wants the brush to do; it is she who blows up on the canvas in these works, and the results are sheer energy in the form of controlled explosions. And after you have taken them in, you realize that the motion has not stopped, the explosion continues to expand.
Somewhere in the artist’s mind the moments before each frozen frame exist, and somewhere beyond, her whiplash brushes conjure up other
moments of joy, ecstasy or fear, as they coil and thrash on into the future.

Nick Greenwald-Augustnots

Nick Greenwald. AUGUSTNOTS.

A Review


By John Sunderland


A pencil is a tool for the brain and drawing is a process of synthesis, a personally based balance of mapping and reactive emotion.  In Nick Greenwald’s hands, drawing instruments become tools of discovery. What we get to share are the graphic results of his searching.


Although the works on the Café wall this week are multi-media in execution – photo prints over-laid by marks, tears, burns, paint, collage, scratched and scorched – they’re all drawings.


For subject matter, if you want to call a person’s attention, use the human face as your muse. Here Nick uses faces like maps that he is both trying to read and explore at the same time. We are sensitive to our faces and read the faces of others all the time, so it’s fascinating when an artist explores the surface, even if, as in these images, the subjects are pretty much devoid of expression. But Nick’s not making portraits; I don’t see him attempting to go deeper into the mind of the subject at all. Rather, the works are about surface and effects and what he can do with them.


What’s to enjoy in this exhibition is a sense of the artist’s undiluted love of drawing. I bet he draws in his sleep, and during the day hangs out in art stores drooling over pencils, pens and markers.  It’s on that level, the enjoyment of drawing as discovery that we share in his journey.


And thank goodness someone is still drawing; all art begins with drawing. This age has largely turned its back on drawing as the most essential medium of expression and communication.  Today we have come to rely more and more on digitized tools to process the making of marks and thereby interrupt the natural human synthesis; from brain, through mind, to hand, to eye, to brain and mind of another.


Nick Greenwald-AUGUSTNOTS

There is nothing digitized here. Here is a man in love with making marks of his own, turning over the leaves of the jungle with his pencil. And, if he doesn’t give up on the search, he’s well on his way to becoming a maestro of his medium.


Come and enjoy another dish of brain-food and another terrific exhibit from the stable of emergent talent that is Hart Gallery 950.


From October 26 – November 3, 2011, at Life Café 983, Bushwick, Brooklyn