Archived Review: “Obstacles” – Eric Sall

It’s bright.  It’s fun. And it’s terrific art.

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Mary Walker’s Gallery has a newly found intimacy I find engaging.  Her current exhibit, works by Brooklyn resident Eric Sall, is small but impressive and reminds us yet again that nicely executed art possesses the glorious capacity to make us new if we simply grant it ingress.

Not only is the gallery pleasant — Mr. Sall is something of a novelty.  He is as brightly engaging as his work and he’s happy to tell you about his “process of thinking” as well as the manner in which he approaches his oil-on-canvas paintings.  Mr. Sall greets you squarely and exhibits the clear glance of an extremely gifted, well-adjusted child.  He speaks enthusiastically about the focal point of his life — painting — and describes it in lyric detail as a process of accretion.  He begins with photography and drawings — and a rather long period of rumination. Things merge and coalesce and what subsequently unfurls in an intricate linear progression with some delightful results. Ultimately, we’re greeted with spirited confetti such as Abstract 1, 2009  — pink and blue stripes festooned with a looping and strident black.

This marvelous work is reminiscent of tents on beaches in the South of France or summer parasols under which one imbibes drinks with wide lime wedges.  Au fond, this is art that is thoroughly enjoyable.  Yet one need not feel guilty feeling more pleasure than angst while looking at (gasp) art.   It’s okay to not have your serotonin level drop like stones in a burlap sack and leave a gallery without feeling awash in anomie.  I suspect Sall manages to make the same synapses fire that are ignited by, say, Miro.  That’s no small feat and I laud him for it.

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