Thursday, May 6, 2010

a papasan for the soul

Anne Boudreau, Water, 2006, wire, twine, tea-stained organza, quilting thread

Ed Askew, Ask the Unicorn (1969, Rhapsody)
Opening for Boudreau, Goodell and Schmidt, Baton Rouge Gallery

This post about Ed Askew at For the Sake of the Song had me with 1969, ESP-Disk and tiple when discussing Ed Askew. Unicorn didn't hurt. Also any mention of Pearls Before Swine in whatever tangential context you can muster works with me. Ed Askew, if you haven't caught on, is a psychedelic, tiple strumming, post-Dylan wizard from the depths of 1969's recorder undercurrent. My kinda guy.

A number of years ago I was way into ukulele, wanting one of every variant of small guitar there was including the enigmatic tiple, a diminutive ten-string monster of obscure tuning. I played a cuatro once at a store in Mission , KS and regret that I didn't put $400 of eventual credit card debt anyway toward it. It felt so natural; I barely knew how to play guitar then (just like now) and I sounded genius on it somehow. It was gone when I mustered the courage on my next visit. But I never saw a tiple anywhere and safely held it as a holy grail; I could pass up any novelty instrument because it was not a tiple, and thereby alleviated my accumulator's itch with a sudden definitive scratch.

Ed Askew, "Mr.Dream"

All this hooey about the ideal v. the attainable wedges in nicely to the conversation I had with an old friend Anne Boudreau at her opening at Baton Rouge Gallery last night. I remember Anne as a collagiste of rare delicate flow back in the day (and I hope I'm remembering her art right) but now she deals in concrete and diaphanous shaped fabric forms floating midair on wires like angles and anglerfish. Her Water pauses in the air like a bright idea in the photo above.

Anne said these were updates on pieces about the fundamentals she did as a student way back when, and that now she can see how clumsy her way of doing things was back then, as can we all with whatever we were doing back then. These new ones seem effortlessly simple, Platonic in their completeness, casting the kinds of shadows that would make Naum Gabo spit out his plastic cup of gallery wine, and they collapse and fold up for easy storage, which is brilliant. Here the whole elemental set with my favorite gallery opening partner posing amongst.

My few forays into sculpture back then involved pieces that fit into and incorporated suitcases so when I tired of looking at a paint-splotched manifestation of easy emotional exegesis, I could clasp it shut and pull another from the closet in its place. There is only one that was worth a damn; it looked like a cartoonish bomb with a big clock face, assembled in a black hard plastic attache case and was called, I believe, The Bomb. Its whereabouts are long forgotten. Maybe it actually blew up when I wasn't looking.

Anne Boudreau, Air, 2006, wire, twine, tea-stained organza silk, quilting thread

This one, Air, begs you to sit in it. Perhaps it is a papasan for the soul. Nice show, Baton Rouge Gallery. More pics from the other artists forthcoming.

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