Commentary
5:00 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Art Review: Pushin' Up Daisies

This spring, CityArts presents the work of the local artist collective “Famous Dead Artists” in an eclectic, action-packed, 20-year retrospective called Pushin’ Up Daisies.

Similar to the Ulrich Museum’s 2011 retrospective on Fisch Haus, CityArts celebrates the critical contributions the Famous Dead Artists made in establishing a local alternative scene in the 1990s.

The Famous Dead Artists’ show Decomposition, from 1995, was the first art exhibition held at Go Away Garage – a now-beloved Commerce Street gallery. This artist group was also key in initiating Final Friday. They partnered with Gallery XII and Fisch Haus in 1997 to start the gallery crawl, and it has since grown into the familiar monthly event we enjoy today.

For Pushin’ Up Daisies, CityArts reunites artwork from members Curt Clonts, Brad Hart, Scott Steele, Christopher Gulick, Pam Terry, Leigh Leighton-Wallace, Marc Bosworth, Wade Hampton and Jennifer Wallace.

While there is a wide variety of work in this exhibition, there is also a distinct influence of American Modernism. Reminiscent of a Robert Rauschenberg “combine painting” is Marc Bosworth’s Home Plate from 1993. Bosworth’s nostalgic painting makes use of visual material, such as Minnesota Twins baseball cards, and three-dimensional elements that extend toward the viewer.

Known for his Alexander Calder-like mobiles, Christopher Gulick has installed a range of work, the largest being a 14-foot mobile titled Flint Hills 1 from 2012. In this work, colorful organic shapes are pierced by the ends of long, silver spindles. The work is delicately balanced and brings a playful quality to the gallery as the colors of the abstracted landscape twirl above the heads of visitors.

Pushin’ Up Daisies boasts incredible range of medium and subject matter, and proves to be a crowd-pleaser of a show. And while visitors many not like everything, they almost certainly will find something they really love.