At 19 Haley Art Space, through May 31. Closing reception Sunday, May 28.
Reviewed by Darian Bleecher
When Dennis Adderton opened the doors of 19 Haley Art Space, he did so with little fanfare — just a word-of-mouth reception — and he has already rotated exhibitions once since opening the gallery doors in February. But while Adderton’s first show garnered notice from just a few sharp-eyed local aficionados, the curious and fashion-forward who venture through the doors of 19 Haley this month are lured in by the whimsical pairing of Daniel Landman’s paintings and Andriana Mitchell’s textile confections (pictured).
Landman’s paintings combine paganism with a fantastical art nouveau sensibility. From the psychedelic swirls of his early triptych to the delicately nuanced more recent portraits, one can see that Landman’s style is constantly evolving. His palette has shifted as well, moving from muted browns and tans to rich jewel tones — cherry reds, lush purples, and intense aquamarines. His experience as a textile designer is evident in his beautifully articulated fabrics and patterns. The women featured in Landman’s portraits are primarily voluptuous nudes, which are in sharp contrast to his gaunt self-portraits. One mesmerizing portrait differs from the rest of Landman’s oeuvre — a woman serenely stitching in a tropical setting. The cat sitting companionably by her side is masterfully rendered in golden brushstrokes that subtly shift to shadow with the viewer’s slightest movement, lending the piece an overall tone of sun-drenched insouciance.
While Landman dominates the gallery walls, Andriana Mitchell’s textiles provide a bold counterpoint. From afar, her pieces appear to be eye-catching articles of clothing. Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that each piece is handcrafted entirely of neckties. Collected over time by Mitchell from retail shops and thrift stores, the ties are stitched, woven, or pieced into svelte silhouettes, each with a trademark jagged “tie-point” hem. One coat is a finely tailored A-line silhouette of gray- and silver-toned ties, lined and cuffed with sumptuous black faux-fur. A shapely gown sculpted from blue- and red-hued neckties graces the front corner of the gallery. With its train fanning gracefully on the floor and straps criss-crossing in the back, the dress is fit for a diva. “Ties have traditionally been the ultimate masculine power symbol,” Mitchell explained. “I feminize them and use them to symbolize women’s gain in power.” A saucy red party dress and Mitchell’s whimsical “vests” provide the perfect case in point — the sexy halter tops, cobbled together entirely from ties, are crowned at the throat with an expertly knotted four-in-hand.