Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Candy, etc. at William Turner Gallery

Right, more abstract paintings. That's what Carole Bayer Sager's new work makes you think; but not for long: when viewed up close they look fuzzy— even messy. But at a distance, they assume a level of clarity that verges on the photographic. A classic case of the Monet effect. You need a large space with ample leg room to show this kind of work.

Sager's subject matter is popular: in her solo show at William Turner Gallery, food is the focus. What distinguishes her work are the titles. Many aren't about the food itself but what happens to it after human intervention: TornShredded, Pulled. These stand-alone participles sound mildly aggressive. In many ways, that's what eating is.

On the other side of these actions is delight. Sampled, a delightful mess of boxed chocolates, is a case in point.

Sager makes us think about the food itself. Her Portrait of an M&M Peanut, while somewhat contrived, is an ode to mindful eating. It is the equivalent of a Ken Price sculpture: a view into the anatomy of an object. It's not often that we meditate on the viscera of delectables— and there's no need to, but it's nice to be reminded every now and then.

Carole Bayer Sager: New Works is on view at William Turner Gallery through November 8th.

Torn (detail), 2014, oil on linen, 48" x 48"
Photo: Olivia Fales

Torn, 2014, oil on linen, 48" x 48"
Photo: Olivia Fales

Shredded (detail), 2014, oil on canvas, 84" x 84
Photo: Olivia Fales

Shredded, 2014, oil on canvas, 84" x 84
Photo: Olivia Fales

Portrait of an M&M Peanut, 2014, oil on linen, 36" x 36"
Photo: Olivia Fales

Installation view, with Portrait of an M&M Peanut at center
Photo: Olivia Fales

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