In Hable’s painting “Buttercup” a variety of flowers bend and genuflect like neighbors gossiping over the back fence. His nature scenes are animated and ultra lively, but they don’t always break away from his roots of harmless and well-mannered design. Hable’s jobs make you want her to dip more than one toe of hers into a stupidity that even flutters around the edges of the job. In the intensely silly “Smiling with closed eyes” a bird with eyes on the wall makes photo bombs to a riot of flowers and the effect is nutty and captivating. Likewise some of Hable’s more whimsical stoneware sculptures, such as a Barbie Dreamhouse pink radish shape with ear-like leaves or a work like “New Growth” that evokes the sci-fi emergence of new life from plants. The natural world is undeniably lovely, but it’s also weird and Hable could bear to push those inclinations further.
Atlanta artist Sachi Rome surrounds his black figures with firefly swirls of light and color (and real diamond dust), like celestial ripples in a pond. His is a cosmos of enveloping calm rather than chaos. Rome’s talent really sings in pieces like “Young General” in acrylic and diamond dust on canvas with its relatively simple composition and refined play of colors that are a nice antidote to some of the frenzy of other works.
Charleston artist Laura Dargan’s graphic and abstract explorations of depth and form in acrylic on canvas paintings add a jolt of neon color and graphic shapes to Hable’s more whimsical images.
And MFA student from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta and Zhou Peng, originally from Shanghai, China, are the photographer in the mix, delivering an eclectic bag of images that look like four distinct bodies of work. There are promising moments in Peng’s “Untitled” photography in which an almost surreal image of perfect beauty and pink roses against a blue sky has been scratched as if to break its seductive power. There is also great potential in the surprising and strange juxtaposition of aggressive colors and swirling, crumpled and twisted plastic, creating something seductive from ugliness in the artist’s “Seen and Unseen” series.
VISUAL ART REVIEW
“Property of being”
Until July 8, from 10:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday and by appointment. Free. Spalding Nix Fine Art, The Galleries of Peachtree Hills, 425 Peachtree Hills Ave NE, Suite 30-A, Atlanta, 404-841-7777, spaldingnixfineart.com.
Bottom line: Less work and a little more cohesion may have helped a beauty and luminosity theme stick together more, but there are plenty of gems and some promising exploration in the mix in this group show.