Madeline Gallucci and Bromide Free at Terrault Contemporary
By Amy Boone-McCreesh
Double Take, an exhibition by Madeline Gallucci at Terrault Contemporary comes to Baltimore by way of Kansas City, where she currently lives and works. Gallucci was a 2016 recipient of the Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Award and recently completed an artist in residence program at Hotel Phillips. In addition to her own studio practice, she is also co-director of Front Space, located in Kansas City.
Gallucci’s exhibition at Terrault presents a collection of pattern-heavy digital and hand-painted images where the two ways of working intermingle in a way that pokes at the often-considered question of reality in contemporary art. I have been following her work for the past few years, and felt a strong interest in the progression of imagery as it leaves the artist’s hand and exists in a digital realm.
Galllucci’s process often start as series of painted marks by hand. Sometimes the marks are scanned and reprinted digitally and other times the pieces are worked back into by hand. Soft Serve Camouflage, Variation # 2 is an example of Gallucci releasing her imagery into the digital world, printing it on fabric, and reclaiming ownership over the work with her hands. The piece operates ambiguously, asking the viewer to look again, as the title of the show suggests, to identify marks by hand and those once or twice removed.
Soft Serve Camouflage, Variation #2, Acrylic, digital print on polyester
The exhbition spans all of these processes, presenting digitally printed wall vinyl as well as completely hand-painted patterns on canvas. All versions of the work are visually compelling, especially in creating the illusion of space and placing paintings inside paintings. Gallucci cites an interest in camouflage and many marks within the work disappear and reappear while viewing.
Color and categorization act as primary areas of influence for the pieces, some appearing as studies, while others are more complete. In this way, the show feels like a sampling of a larger world. Gallucci’s titles inform and suggest segments and sections from something larger, or outside of what is being presented. Despite the title of the show, Gallucci is not trying to fool the viewer. She is merely reflecting the world around her, a world where divisions in perceived reality has become increasingly fuzzy due to our fusion with technology.
Camo Confetti, Digital print on vinyl
Detail of Tarp Pattern # 3 Acrylic on canvas, grommets, paracord
Gallucci’s hand painted pieces, like Tarp Pattern #3, are strung and tethered with paracord, bringing to mind trampolines and life-saving devices at the same time.
Overall, Double Take reads as light hearted and non-threatening, but beneath initial feelings of visual excitement, the work poses questions of reality in life and in contemporary art. There are parts of my existence, and my peers, that occur only in a digital realm. Gallucci’s mixing of digital and physical process parallels the line many of us straddle in daily life. The pattern studies can operate as superficial and beautiful, or they can imply deeper ideas. Like textiles, design, and decorative arts, Gallucci’s work should be appreciated not only for the craft but also for the way it succintly mirrors a period in human history.
Tarp Pattern # 3, Acrylic on canvas, grommets, paracord (R) Tarp Pattern # 2, detail
Bromide Free, A Group Show curated by Ali Seradge
In the adjoining exhibition space at Terrault, Bromide Free is primarily painting show. It offers a selection of works by 18 current MICA students. Each artist uses painting as the vehicle for honest attempts at expressing ideas and emotions.
Ali Seradge curated Bromide Free in the hope of freeing young artists from the pressures of being novel or clever and instead praising sincerity. It is refreshing to frame student work in this context, as the pressure of clarity in art can be counterproductive, especially for an art student. Viewers are invited to take the show at face value and encouraged to connect with the very real and very difficult act of painting.
Exhibition view, large painting by Dani Toral
Jack Coyle BAGHEAD, BAGHEAD
Oil, Acrylic, Carpet, Turf, Paper, and Tape on Canvas and Panel
Author Amy Boone-McCreesh is a Baltimore-based artist, professor, and curator.
Exhibitions run May 9-May 28 at Terrault Contemporary.