by Joe Nolan
Works on Paper: Drawings, Paintings, Prints and Handmade Edition Books
& 32 Years of Printmaking by Jim Sherraden
When: Through Dec. 31
Where: LeQuire Gallery
Joe Nolan on the current LeQuire exhibit:
This time of year, most Nashville galleries offer affordable works by a broad, unconnected selection of artists in an understandable attempt to maximize holiday gift-buying exposure. That said, LeQuire Gallery is not known for following trends, and their holiday show feels more like three complete exhibitions in one.
Alan LeQuire's "Dream Forest" installation is an artificial forest of concrete torsos installed outside his gallery's front door on Charlotte Avenue. No cold, featureless monoliths these, LeQuire's voluptuous and virile pillars contain figures, but they're sexier than his "Musica" nudes, specifically because they are far more abstract. The project continues inside with LeQuire's massive "Dream Forest Prints." The foliage-pattern pieces are printed from huge hand-carved blocks using sheets of paper that have been embossed with the patterns of actual leaves. You need to step back to take these large pieces in, but their surface details repay closer inspection.
This unexpectedly ambitious holiday show takes a lot of chances. LeQuire's installation contains figures, but these abstracted forms are some of the most compelling in the artist's history, and Sherraden's show finds the artist reaching beyond the style he's most associated with, as well. Established artists don't take chances to be financially successful — they take chances to continue to actually be artists. And in this show, it's the audience that ultimately enjoys the rewards.