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Odd Wonderments at 500X

Iris Bustillos, Jennifer Pepper, Erik Tosten downstairs and Ben Clark, Matthew L. Flint, Jennifer Locke and Jonathan Lee Stevens upstairs at 500X through March 28, 2004

It's kinda silly to cite just one art gallery as my favorite. But certainly the closest to where I live is 500X, where I'm rarely disappointed and often delighted with whatever's showing when I stop along Exposition Avenue to park my car on the big middle of where the tracks used to be.

Jennifer Pepper - Blue Carbon Wall, 2004
carbon paper with drawings (human shown for scale)

If I'm feeling out of sorts on a weekend aft, I'm likely to ramble around in that stately old building just to catch my breath of art. My lights are often knocked out there. But I'm just as likely to be utterly baffled.

As I am in the spooky blue world of the Project Room, one side lit by its carbon paper wall. Up close one sees a drawing per page. But backing off is the wonder of dark blue, red dots in the intersections of the grid of copy sheets, else all dark.

(Their always amazing annual open show is coming up, and I've noted it in both the free and the members-only Art Opportunities pages.)

There's more than just the art on the walls that I love about the venerable 500. The rich, dark brown wood staircases are as marvelous as the little bits around the edges of the outside of the building.

Ben Clark and Matthew L Flint - Migration
white stoneware, glaze, mixed media drawings, T-pins

Not sure what it is I like about this, that compelled me to photograph it. Love the space, and the lighting. The progression, maybe, of shapes into the sky above the horizon, and thence?

And residents' doors are sometimes hung with personal art that's better than what's in the shows. But not always and not this time.


Jennifer Locke and Johnathan Lee Stevens
Reconstructing Franz Kline Number 635-75
sheet aluminum, enamel, washers and hex bolts

I enjoyed both upstairs and downstairs shows, upstairs because I have so often looked at the High Five construction as worthy of photographing for the spatial relationships, dark and light shapes, heavy and light, all floating menacing above us as we drive down those concrete paths.

And here giant representations of those even more giant shapes impending into our transporting lives.

Brennan Bechtol's 2004 mixed media Mirage was as much a challenge to photograph — its vivid balancing act slowly spinning on a white shelf in the member's room downstairs — as to understand. But kinda wonderful as playful combination of objects. Something downstairs I can at least begin to understand, although much there is down there to enjoy. -JRC

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