Monday, November 12, 2012


Pentimenti Gallery in Old City has double the visual intensity throughout the month of November. On display right now is a two-person show by artists Francesca Pastine and Jackie Tileston that plays with colorful, fluid forms in both abstract painted manifestations and appropriated constructions made from physical art publications themselves.
Unsolicited Collaboration
Francesca Pastine, “Unsolicited Collaboration with Kara Walker, Artforum Excavation Series.”
Works by Pastine are immediately intriguing in that they are all (dis)assembled from used magazines. The artist utilizes X-acto knives to slice and reshape the recognizable objects of print publication from boxy pages to organic, dripping swaths of patterns. At a time when print is quickly fading into the background in favor of web-based publishing, these melting magazines make for an apt metaphor surrounding their own obsolescence. Furthermore, these books are not just any discarded Newsweek that Pastine found in her local dentist’s waiting room, they are her friend’s unwanted copies of Artforum. Morphing the very stuff of contemporary art and placing it squarely in a gallery is not just a nudge at paper production, but at the art world itself.
Artforum 45
Francesca Pastine, “Artforum 45.”
Cut paper allows for the inclusion of actual depth into these montages. The structures are more relief sculpture than collage, but they tug at the coattails of two-dimensional art as well, seeing as they are literally composed of flat images. Pastine plays with this element quite a bit, digging warped, rectangular pits into the cover of Artforum or layering the pages into bookmark-like blobs that peek out from inside the books. Particularly stunning is Pastine’s “Artforum 45,” which shows a group of white-clad bodies seemingly falling onto one of her contoured pools of color. The key word here is onto, and not into. The fact that the people rest atop the form instead of sink into it references its existence as a solid object and not just an amorphous puddle.

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