Aimée Beaubien’s exhibition “Always Wherever” at Twin Kittens gallery [closes March 1] plays with the parameters of painting and sculpture in photo cutouts that depict abstract textures and snippets of recognizable images like a tree or an architectural detail.
Floated on the wall, the paper works achieve a painterly quality from the texture, lighting, and images drawn from her camera’s viewfinder. Abstract passages and unrecognizable textures have the effect of making the recognizable passages seem abstract. The fact that each work feels complete relies on traditional cues of how a contemporary form in a gallery should appear. Dimensionality, color relationships, and movement all contribute to the deception. Looping flagellas of cut-out images and a reverberation between what is depicted and positive interwoven shapes mark the most successful works.
Smaller gouache-painted photographs supplement the larger cutouts. Their approach is different. Old photographs with a found sensibility have been painted over with what look like colorful yarn-like balls. They feel more homespun, more psychologically felt, and they almost undo the conceptual leap that the former series implies: that creative work can be achieved with an indifferent technology, i.e., with a monitor, a printer, or with imaging software.
Eric Hancock is an Atlanta-based artist and independent researcher. He has served as adjunct professor of art foundations at the Art Institute of Atlanta and the Art Institute of Austin.