Four artists offer differing views of the domestic world in “Food For Thought.” A special pleasure is Desiree Engle’s earthy ceramic fruits and vegetables that suggest the sensual delights of a garden plot in the backyard. These are chunky, humble pieces of hand shaped stoneware dripping with rich colored glazes that separate and clot on the molten the surfaces of produce at the edge of decomposition. If Ken Price’s recent ceramic works have refined the notion of the organic into a wonderfully liquid abstraction of oozing forms pimpled with skins of ultra controlled color, Engle’s naïve sculptures return the organic to the enervating messiness of overripe fruit fallen from the trees.
Kathy Breaux’s mixed media paintings of women placidly moving through tidy neighborhoods of red tile roofed bungalows, clipped lawns and well trimmed trees also have a naïve sensibility. Each clearly rendered suburban scene is vaguely childlike, presenting the doorways, plants and women’s faces in simplified, flattened, and richly colored shapes. Some, like the women’s hair, have the paint literally combed into the surface to imbue a delightfully direct sense of texture to the liquidity of the artist’s paint against the flatness of the form. Reminiscent of Henri Rousseau, Breaux’s paintings exude a faintly magical sense of obscure narrative with odd abstract shapes drifting through the skies like symbolic ambient sound, fragments of words or fortune cookie papers rising like half remembered thoughts imbedded in the surface of the paint itself. It’s a peaceful, domesticated world.