Since opening in late 2011, Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art has dabbled in a little bit of everything, from the sophisticated, cerebral works of Wess Dahl-Berg and RC Wonderly to lowbrow and street art shows featuring Las Vegas and LA artists.
But a Harris-curated group show had yet to be tackled until this week’s opening of exchange, which features six artists from around the country whose diverse styles (self-taught to academic) Harris wanted to see in a dialogue with one another. The lineup includes Sara Lytle (Santa Barbara), Sandra Chevrier (Montreal) and LA-based artists Septerhed, XVALA, Louis Cannizzaro (aka Louis XXX) and Adrienne Adar.
While Septerhed—known mostly for his subversive street art, influenced by signage, iconography and religious art—creates bold murals (often of tribal-esque animals) that visually pop off buildings, Chevrier is a gallery artist with a heavy emphasis on superhero expectations of women in contemporary society. She blends painting and collage to create intriguing portraits of women with comic books covering or adorning their faces.
On the other end of the spectrum is XVALA, dishing out stinging commentary on technology and the cult of celebrity through various media: stickers of a nude Scarlett Johansson, sculptures made of trash from notables like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg (the Zuckerberg hangar sculpture is in exchange) and anti-Internet works using the Internet as a tool and source material.
Lytle, who describes her work as “woo-woo, spontaneous and intuitive,” brings a raw, primitive aspect to the exhibit with her energetic “crowfolk” paintings of animals that have an outsider art feel to them.
Cannizzaro, who participated in a wall mural at Amanda Harris during the Benjamin Alejandro exhibit, creates large-scale works with childlike imagery, a bright palette and somewhat sentimental phrases, including a painting in exchange with a primitively style bird on it that reads, “Life is so big and beautiful, what do you want to do next?” Finally, the exhibit’s conceptual standout: sound artist Adar, whose interactive sound objects use electronic speakers to amplify the sounds of cactus needles being touched.
exchange Through August 30, Thursday and Friday, 5-8 p.m. Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art, 900 S. Las Vegas Blvd. #150, 769-6036. Opening reception July 18, 6-8 p.m.