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Contemporary Abstractions at Passenger

[Published on IncousiantWriting.com November 12, 2014]


On the southern edge of Capitol Park, two huge geometric halves triggered nostalgia for an egg hunt with their exposed interiors greeting newcomers near the entrance of Passenger. Other sculptures stood prominently across the cement and white wall landscape while paintings, photographs and drawings created a charming atmosphere for a one-night presentation between the gallery and Detroit Creative Corridor Center, among other prominent proponents of Detroit’s scene of innovation.


Brian Barr curated Abstracticus, which opened in mid-October but Contemporary Abstraction offered a one-night multitude of visual and performance stimuli. Near the area designated for libations was a large amount of traffic where viewers gazed at two portraits by Tylonn J. Sawyer. His shadows, lighting and immeasurable detail made the subject’s face seem oily enough for a blotting sheet. Ceramics by Laith Karmo yielded a similar effect with his capacity to catapult fine sculpting into the public sphere.


Noah Stephens extended an opportunity to gaze into a fondness for exteriors and the night sky with his photographic lens. As Noah’s work emitted a brilliance often seen in motion pictures, he responded with much enthusiasm for the accidental creation of nightscapes resembling paintings and shots from a movie-making process.


While the evening encapsulated respective communications of form, aesthetics and contexts, the process of following each artist’s perception of reality proved tedious without a corresponding list outlining who created each piece on display. To the gallery's credit, there was a compilation of brief artist biographies but perhaps next time Passenger will be able to offer spectators an easier transition between interrogation and evaluation.

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