Displayed on alternating black or white walls, the artworks rely on texture, shape, positive and negative, surface, contrast, and content, all allowed to claim primacy when color is extracted.
Lauren Clay's wall works of draped and sagging papier-mâché tubes meld a biomorphic sensuality onto starkly minimal geometries, winkingly undermining the supposed power of symmetrical tautologies. In Rodrigo Valenzuela's photographic series "Hedonic Reversal", the artist starts with a black background and adds white material to construct a staged environment that belies its three-dimensionality, by breaking perspective and enforcing linearity. Anna Mikhailovskaia transforms simple monochromatic materials into unrefined geometries and shapes reminiscent of ancient monuments, Soviet Brutalism, and Constructivist painting. In Rachel Stern's diptych, her photographic practice, normally redolent of over-the-top decoration and color, is pared down into a mostly-black still-life that transforms in the second work through a black pour, suggesting life snuffed out, with blown out candles and dulled surfaces. Ricardo Gonzalez uses black as the signifier of Expressionist machoism or adolescent inky scribblings, with maniacal characters resembling nightmarish stick figures or primitive monsters. Tracy Thomason's paintings in oil and marble dust use an achromatic palette to highlight the symbolic nature of linguistic or gestural forms, resulting in sinewy lines and luscious textures.