Gente Conocidos (and Other Lampisteries)
Artist Tristan Tzara became folk hero to many when he made declarations in his early 20th-century Dadaist "Manifestos and Lampisteries" like: "Art, in the infancy of time, was prayer. Wood and stone were truth. In man I see the moon, plants, blackness, metal, stars, fish." And Tzara is, in fact, hero to Albuquerque expatriate artist Thomas Powell. His recent body of work derives inspiration from Tzara's radical ruminations. "My translation of lampistery is as something you shine light on," says Powell, "something that's revealed." Some of the pieces have a Dadaist political bent, while others a dark comic surreality. A metal cowboy wheels on an “Endless War” carriage, the heft of his massive gun appearing to throw the apparatus off balance. There's a trophy display reminiscent of a desert Toontown massacre, a boot's sole aimed skyward from a sawblade stand, and an animal skull implausibly balanced on a ball and chain. Centerpieced in the space is Powell's spiral “Nautilus,” a kind of dark carnival fun house that comments on recent history. The show runs through the weekend, closing on Sunday. If you make it over at the right time, it's possible Powell will be there too, chuckling over the colorful absurdity of it all. [AC]2 • Noon-4 pm • FREE • ac2gallery.org
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