Inaugurating the gallery Queer Thoughts’s new space, the group show “Devastation” contains works by eight artists that share a color scheme of leached blues, grey and bright red, as well as a sense of quiet, unindignant devastation.
David Rappeneau’s drawings are reminiscent of anime and tattoos. Drawn in thick, clean lines with ballpoint pen, charcoal pencil and acrylic marker, they depict a crucifix-wearing, chain-bearing man. Electrodes connect his skull to a magenta monkey-like animal, and he weeps in a blue-saturated, antiseptic environment as two figures threaten with syringes. Thomas Eggerer paints shoe soles as rugged biomechanical planes, while a white square at the center of his work suggests salvation along with the hard impact of a boot. Chelsea Culprit loops back to the pre-Freudian in Oneieocritica (2021), a reference to an ancient Greek treatise that translates roughly to “The Interpretation of Dreams.” In her painting, indigo wash serves as backdrop to a red contour drawing of a long-lashed bunny who wears a stiletto heel and proffers a human-like claw.
Dean Sameshima’s quietly devastating pair of photographs from 1998 are both entitled In Between Days (Without You). One is a red-soaked image of an empty, unrumpled bed propped with a pillow—nobody has slept here in some time, and might never again. Cryptic and oddly moving, Ren Light Pan’s shadowy sleep painting (11.1.2021) just barely teases the figure of a woman crouched, as if poised to take flight, and contains the line: “sumi ink, body heat, transgirl on canvas.” This show is not a rallying cry—rather, a depiction or submission to soundless desolation. —Lisa Yin Zhang
Chelsea Culprit, Oneieocritica, 2021. Acrylic, oil, and crayon on canvas, 65 x 63 inches.