Michelle Andrade and John Weston
“Diamond Dave in the Rough is a Girl’s Best Friend Forever”
March 1-31, 2019
Five gouache-and-ink drawings on paper consisting of patterns of patterns cover the “walls,” “floor” and “ceiling” of the Proxy gallery, or the 5 visible planes. The drawings are not symmetrical and they are not the same on the 5 sides. Inside each square is another pink square with patterns turned 45 degrees. The patterns on the pink square are not continuous with the black and while patterns around them, and there is no outline marking the edges of the pink square. In other words, the pink is not an overlay or color filter, it is not a collage of another drawing, it is done on the same piece of paper as the rest.
Friends Andrade and Weston have distinct bodies of work but have also frequently collaborated over the years since their graduate student days in the mid 2000s. In this case they started with separate pieces of paper, each made their marks and then they exchanged the sheets.
It would be a mistake to say that the drawings take up all the “space” of the gallery; rather, they take up all the planes: In a sense, they arethe gallery. One can quickly see that the patterns of patterns are not repeating, thus starting a conversation about printing and reproducibility. The handmade unique work resists reproduction and commercialization while teasing the eye and the brain. The material size and scale of the gallery and the photographic representation add to the work a 2D frontality and an optical element of flatness. In the photograph, the empty air space disappears and the whole frontal view becomes onedrawing, onedesign.
Can abstraction have a narrative? The work of Andrade and Weston would argue that yes, it has an open visual narrative. The comic empty tubes and fat boxes, the zig-zags and curlicues, the distorted checkers, allow ideas of exit and entrance, of decoration and labor, of the personal and the historical dimension of the drawings.