“Chaos is a big part of how I psychologically operate,” Shawn Turung acknowledges. “We’re wandering through a vast sea of things; I like talking about it through my imagery.” Her large-scale paintings grapple with that vast sea by marshaling bursts of chromatic energy into checkered fields of color, and she distills many of the outlandish, though recognizable, figures populating them down to their simplest outlines. In the process, the chaos is tempered, but not quashed. To explicitly folkloric and allegorical symbols—what she calls “human condition stuff”—Turung adds a vivid dash of humor. In her 10-foot-plus “Epic,” for example, she situates a Pac-Man Pez dispenser and a leonine creature in fishnet stockings amidst self-conscious echoes of Picasso’s “Guernica.” “Every person we meet, every event that takes place,” she tells me, “it’s not a simple interaction. … Everybody uses humor to communicate with each other. It’s something we’re able to understand.” Turung’s exhibit Loaded, showcasing more than 15 pieces of playful and exploratory new work, unveils at Exhibit/208 (208 Broadway SE) tomorrow from 5 to 8pm. Exhibit/208 • Fri Nov 8 • 5-8pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
A four-decade retrospective on display at Exhibit/208 shows Bruce Lowney’s range as a master of the tri-tone lithograph. Collected Works charts his evolution as a printer and visual poet, while making space for his equally impressive large-scale oil works.