Tess Bilhartz, Zuriel Waters & Lindsay Wraga
Bannerette | 52 Tompkins Ave.
Bannerette is pleased to announce If Grandpa Sucks, We’ll Leave, an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Tess Bilhartz, Zuriel Waters & Lindsay Wraga.
Lindsay Wraga sculpts narrative scenes for characters and crowds. In The City, miniature tenement buildings open up like dollhouses to reveal her keen sense of observation and twisted irony. Wraga’s world is overwrought--mundane materials transform into fantastic detail--with numerous hand-made figures exhibiting pathos, comic nudity, or even violent intentions. In concentric circles of development and excess, The City has grown and accumulated over four years: first as an extension of Wraga’s painting practice, until organically, it has seemed to take on a life and logic of its own.
Painter Tess Bilhartz works like a cinematic auteur. She methodically storyboards an original text--a sort of vampiric-feminist-art world-western--which serves to anchor her multi-frame paintings. Bilhartz does not paint the story in a linear sequence; instead, she favors to pauperize her narration at seemingly indiscriminate crossroads. Utilizing cinematic tropes like close-ups or slapstick humor, Bilhartz’s paintings become a kaleidoscope of her original story: characters recur, plotlines foreshadow, and yet--as viewers, we’re mostly left hanging from a cliff.
In Zuriel Waters’ self portraits, the canvas is reborn as a mirrored surface, one that reflects Waters’ painting actions in real time. Each of his varied compositions feature defiant, gestural marks and swathes of color built sensuously--yet with a knife. While the paintings depict Waters’ arm, hand, and tool, he masquerades: playing dress-up across moments in art history. Sporting a frowny face, or with an angry housecat looking on, clown-like masks crowd his scenes (Picasso?) and there’s a comedy that serves to puncture the heavy feeling of an artist’s studio malaise. Like Matisse’s Piano Lesson set to a laugh-track.