Mini Review Roundup: "Floral" at Hodgepodge and "Here and Now Here" at Whitespec

Originally published on

FLORAL: Molly Rose Freeman and Erin McManness at Hodgepodge Coffee House & ArtGallery

FLORAL is a show of collaborative and individual work by Molly Rose Freeman and Erin McManness of Paper Raven Co. at Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery. Together, their differences coalesce in a balanced mix of precise illustration and more intuitive compositions built on abstract themes of propagation and interconnectedness. Freeman brings a lively moxie that complements McManness’s technical prowess. “Summer,” a collaborative work resembles blossoms, dividing cells and psychedelic bouquets, all at the same time.There is an analogous tension in the grid of natural and man-made ephemera around a densely filled in moon in “Things I found in the Moonlight,” another collaborative piece.

Separately, their individual work isn’t as strong, leaning on the decorative qualities of flowers as objects that beautify the environment. Freeman’s signature geometric forms become kaleidoscopic, cellular webs in works like “Moss Rose” and “What I Felt Like.” Despite the tight precision typically associated with geometry, Freeman maintains a painterly imperfection in her freeform line drawings. This stands in contrast to McManness’ flatter graphic work. Belying her illustration background, McManness’ contributions incorporate tiling patterning and inspirational quotations like, “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

Some of the references here feel more like aesthetic choices rather than conceptual ones. For example, McManness’ “Otomi”is a beautiful flat pattern and well executed technically but Otomi isn’t an idea or a concept, it’s an indigenous ethnic group in Mexico known for their embroidery style. Overall, “Floral” aspires to attract viewers with its light aesthetic but fails to plant the right amount of depth.

Here and Now Here: Kaye Lee Patton’s MFA exhibition at Whitespec

Here and Now Here is a MFA exhibition and first solo show by Kaye Lee Patton. Presented atWhitespec, the SCAD-Atlanta student showed a collection of painting, installation and projection works influenced by retrospection and virtual reality. Essentially Patton attempts to preserve memories of experiencing place through screens, the work is composed from Facetime stills and video as a way to engage “a location halfway around the globe” (which can be interpreted as Patton’s native South Korea).

The video installation, “Snip Snap Slip – Remix,” is perhaps what I love most about the show. In it, a small pedestal holds a tiny projector, in front of which two pieces of plexiglass hang from the ceiling. Each piece of plexi is covered with holographic paper. The plexi gently rotates and bounces the video image, causing the projection to spin around the room. In turn, the viewer is left to reflect on the totality of our external environment versus the narrowness of our perception and the current limitations of our video recording capabilities (360˚ video exists, but it’s not quite perfected).

The video’s image, mostly abstract and heavily processed, echoes the low resolution of the photo transfer paintings as well as the drippy, popcorn ceiling-textured paintings. Though the paintings are overshadowed, the show is worth seeing, if only to experience this remarkable video installation that temporarily activates the gallery space into an alternate place. 

Angela BortoneComment