James English Leary & Aine Vonnegut
29 September to 06 November 2016
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The manifestation of James English Leary’s current work highlights tension between painting and installation throughout Safe Gallery’s exhibition space. Leary refers to this body of work as “Entrances and Exits”; hinting at the nature of his blank canvases that are both infiltrated and vacated by various slapstick shapes. The presentation of rectangular minimalist panels create an arena for the painted space to dart across, through, and out of the surfaces; composing their own jargon that wraps around and slinks off the walls of the room. The familiar yet indefinable forms recall human limbs, articles of clothing, cartoon toadstools, and plant-like motifs. This figuration is rendered in an illusionistic trompe-l'oeil mode of saturated hues and exaggerated proportions that work both independently and as a whole to converse within its constructed physical space.

With a similar playfulness in scale and cartoon-like gesture, Aine Vonnegut presents her realm of comedic hallucination. Vonnegut relies on discovery to acquaint the viewer to her mysterious tableaus, whether it be a composition of diminutive ready-mades, an animatronic chimp, or pieces hung low suspended from a tall ceiling. These apparitions confront the observer and dictate an altered perspective of one’s reality. Vonnegut’s childhood memories drive the story-telling aspects of her work which in turn guides the context of her unexpected encounters.