ELEANOR ALDRICH: THAT FEELING WHEN
Channel to Channel / 507 Hagan Street November 7, 2020 - November 21, 2020
Building on her previous show, Main Squeeze, which featured bodies pressing through the grid of lawn chairs, in That Feeling When Aldrich expands the excess of materials to large figure paintings and small, overfilled sculptures. Aldrich uses thick materials that protrude from the surface, reminding the viewer that the paintings are not only physical objects in themselves, but also create the illusion of the picture. The work employs a risky excess of material that borders on uncontrollable; becoming metaphoric for barely controlled femininity, the attraction and repulsion of materialism, and the body pressing against constraints.
The figures in the paintings are seen from behind or have turned away. The viewer is put in a place of questioning whether they are a voyeur or a co-viewer with the figure of something deeper in the picture plane. The full body paintings of young women based on Nancy Drew mystery book covers offer seductive form and richness, but on closer examination are a shell of hair and clothing. She seems to be both a knowing participant in the image; half posing for the viewer, and half involved with what is happening within the image. Like the paint that builds her she is part physical reality and part illusion. The figures in the lawn chairs, hammocks, and the sculptural objects offer a protrusion of material that is at times satisfying, repulsive, and funny. The viewer is confronted with the social taboos of a body or substance that exceeds its bounds, meditations on the nature of reality and illusion, and a more acute awareness of the self as a viewer.