Storefront Bushwick recently featured work by Carol Salmanson and Stephen Truax.
Deborah Brown, the owner of Storefront Bushwick, has a particular talent for seeing cross currents and pairing artists. Salmanson makes wall sculptures of led bulbs, Truax paints geometric abstractions on canvas, but both artists seem to work with light.
Truax’s symmetrical forms are like the shapes of a kaleidoscope, sharing some kinship with the prisms that reappear in the paintings of Brooke Moyse and the floodlights of Halsey Hathaway’s circles—two artists who have shown here. Truax also revisits Bauhaus textile and the radiance of Charles Sheeler.
At Storefront, he still seems to be working through a range of different paint handling, and I found the best pieces had the cleanest edges.
Salmanson is also an experimenter, taking up the led, or light-emitting diode, as her medium. She uses these tiny bulbs and wires to carve out illuminated shapes on a plexiglass ground. The technique, clearly labor intensive, is full of promise, and Salmanson has a delicate sense for how the wires can become a form of drawing.
The installation at Storefront had a remarkable glow, with some work using multicolored bulbs (made of old leds she has collected) and others with a more monochrome palette. I preferred the latter, which seemed more cohesive and did not overpower the compositions with multiple colors. I also question some of the shapes Salmanson traces out—calligraphic doodles that are then embedded with lights. The leds tie down many of these forms like little buoys, with the energy no longer running across the picture plane but radiating out as light into the gallery space. A different, perhaps simpler, approach to composition might solve these formal concerns.
--adapted from Gallery Chronicle, The New Criterion, June 2012