Jennifer Davis and Amy Rice are two busy Twin Cities artists who hooked up for Delightful, a dual show at Roselux Gallery. And it’s no mystery why: Davis and Rice both create work that is inviting and succinct, and when paired together, complementary and convenient.
Jennifer Davis keeps her pieces short and sweet, at times displaying her visual prose in vignettes as if they were pictures of friends or family gathered on a wall. But this is a family of daydreaming cousins and whispering grandmothers—relatives who might start a familiar bedtime story the same old way before trailing off into a personal language that seeps with melancholy.
Rendered in a pastel palette of soft, pleasing colors, “Stay” is a collage of acrylic an d graphite, hinting at Klimpt and addressing the longing for autumn. Davis’ illustrative hand gives each leaf a final breath of its own.
“Imaginary Friend” alludes to Escher, transitioning ghostly sketches of dogs seamlessly into human forms. “Shift” is one of her richest pieces, despite its small size. The combination of imagery and a surreal space caught somewhere between two and three dimensions creates a hypnotic prognostication of something inevitable. Davis’ loudest work in this show is a piece aptly titled “Noise,” a mixed media collage which actually seems to squawk in 15 or more stylish languages.
Amy Rice paints life into the pondering characters who populate her work. Using stencils, spray paint and surface textures, she creates bold, solid foundations that highlight small, colorful details, which allows them to pop out from the surface.
The four-panel series “Spring Summer Fall Winter” is Rice’s centerpiece. In each panel a woman’s dress is distinguished by a tree in a state of change that corresponds to the season. The stencils of the women capture their curiosity of nature, and by leaving each wood grained surface untouched, Rice creates shadows and suggests contemplation.
“Fishy Folk Dance” and “Ambitious” feature stencils of a jumping, squirming, freakish shark-snouted humanoid creature—celebrating in the former and escaping the fish bowl in the latter. Rice’s experiments with animal heads on human bodies don’t hail from the Island of Dr. Moreau, but they are interesting specimens and social observations. In the piece “In Crowd,” a clique of sheep-headed hipsters looks fantastic despite their blank stares.
Evoking clear emotions in her compositions is one of Rice’s strengths. “Failure of the RSVP” illustrates a petal-pouring hostess all dolled up with no one to show, and Rice gives her disappointed maiden an appropriately perplexed expression.
Both Rice and Davis use repeated iconography in their work, and in this particular show, they open up a visual exchange in response to each other’s work. As such, Delightful becomes a dual monologue that considers identical themes rather than collaborations. The results are agreeable, and the content favorably contributes to a fun collection of work.
Delightful is on display through Sept. 3 at Rosalux Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave., Mpls. Gallery hours are Tue.–Thu. noon–8 p.m.; Fri.–Sat. noon–5 p.m.