Review: Dorsch Gallery Presents Winning Trifecta of Exhibits

It's hard to think of many local art spaces other than the big private collections or even the museums capable of pulling off the three seamless, impeccably presented solo shows currently on tap at Wynwood's Dorsch Gallery.

In fact Audrey Hasen Russell's "Gold Slaw," Cheryl Pope's "Matter of Fact," or Raymond Saa's " A Mile of String," each on their own merits would have individually done justice to and brought art lovers flocking to the space.

Together they combine to ;amp up the gallery's cachet early in the season and represent a marquee ticket for Brook Dorsch, the Wynwood pioneer who's lack of inclusion in Art Basel Miami Beach in recent years strikes one as a crying shame. But if the respected local dealer continues cranking out shows like this we can't help but think that's soon bound to change.\

Situated at the entrance of the gallery, Audrey Hasen Russell's Yellow Field (Miami) is a site-specific installation of undulating waves of faux grass suggesting a bucolic setting and also evoking a sense of the straw hats worn by Cuba's guajiros who worked cultivating tobacco or cutting sugar cane. The piece was created from insulation foam, thread and spray-paint.

This is Russell's first solo at Dorsch and she brings a keen eye for employing disparate materials and found objects in her engaging installations that exude a palpable DIY vibe. In a review filed earlier this week on the show up at Gallery Diet, an assemblage by Debo Eilers appears to till the same furrow as some of Russell's work here. But in her finely honed execution, Russell puts on a clinic that by comparison, leaves the aforementioned Eilers choking on her dust.

Around the bend don't miss Russell's Untitled (Bubble Wall) created from blown glass, digital prints and spray-paint. These fetching gems are reminiscent of snow globes and each contains an image appearing not unlike craters from the dark side of the moon.

Raymond Saa's suite of nine large oil-on-canvas paintings, isolated in an adjacent room, are calligraphic in nature and steeped in monochromatic, tarantula black, flint gray and bleached-bone white tones.

The gorgeous untitled works are freighted with tangles of what appear to be windswept tumbleweeds, gathering storm clouds or dense snarls of barbed wire arranged with nuanced precision in his voluminous attention-commanding compositions that evoke references ranging from string theory to graffiti on urban landscapes.

However it's Cheryl Pope who steals the thunder at Dorsch with a video depicting the artist stacking plates, cups and bowls atop a small table until her growing pile of china crashes with a loud bang.

Pope's skull-staving installations feature a carpet of thousands of broken shards of found china plates, sewn together with waxed linen thread and a room full of tops crafted from stainless steel and plates.

She also encrusted a wall with found "Happy Anniversary" dishes that provoked thoughts of domestic violence and evince an eerie scar-like effect. The psychological tension in the surrounding area was ratcheted up by a kinetic piece called Tick, in which Pope has created a sort of pendulum device with a stainless steel rod and a stack of dishes with a motor attached.

As Pope's pendulum swings slowly along a wall, the dishes' edges cut into the surface creating a sort of drawing as it moves back and forth. While doing so the device emits a discomfiting screeching noise that brings to mind a school teacher scraping her fingernails along a chalkboard to get her student's to behave.

If pressed to find fault with the gallery's stunning troika, I'd have to say that hopefully Brook Dorsch hasn't blown his wad prematurely to hijack attention. One can look forward to a steady dose of these stellar money shots from the dealer as the season unfolds.

Do yourself a favor, run, and don't walk, to bank on this winning trifecta at the Dorsch.

"Gold Slaw," "A Mile of String," "Matter of Fact" through October 9. Dorsch Gallery (151 NW 24th St., Miami). Call 305-576-1278 or visit dorschgallery.com.

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