Exhibition - Semiformal

Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm


Drive-by Projects is pleased to open it’s tenth fall season with Semi-formal, an exhibition of paintings by Crystalle Lacouture, sculpture by Joe Howe and drawings by David X Levine. The formal elements of abstraction are key factors in work of these artists, but each of the three  pushes beyond the physical properties of line, shape, form, color, texture, etc. to introduce meaning, humanity and wit to their work in Semi-formal.

David X Levine’s small drawings of simple suggestive shapes are executed in his signature medium, colored pencil on paper. Levine elevates this humble duo of materials to produce tightly choreographed solo performances by a cast of abstract blobs and squiggles. A synesthetic who sees color when he hears music, Levine applies color with an obsessive hand and often references musicians and song titles in his work. Lines are few, though important accessories. Careful placement of shapes within the picture plane helps to define the emotive theme of each drawing (awkward, sad, bloated, squeezed) and we come to appreciate the elegant wit and fluency of Levine’s abstract narratives.

We are proud to present the work of Joe Howe in this exhibition. Non-verbal for his entire life, Howe expressed himself in the wood and clay pieces that he made in the studios of Gateway Arts, Brookline MA. Intuitive decisions about materials color, scale and shape define Howe’s objects. Though toy-like in scale, they suggest monumental architectural structures, buildings bridges, construction sites, etc. Favoring playful colors painted liberally onto his block-life assemblages, Howe often signed in black
with “Joe”. In 2014 Joe Howe was honored with a one-person exhibition at White Columns Gallery in NYC, where Director Matthew Higgs brought together a selection of works from Howe’s 40 years at Gateway Arts.

Crystalle Lacouture’s abstract paintings are inspired by textiles and the memories of places and experiences from her transient childhood. Though loosely built on an underlying grid-like structure, they expand to suggest three dimensional weavings that exist in a shallow space filled with crisscrossing threads and dove-tailed shapes. Sour reds, yellows and blues overlap and blend into earthy green and browns. The viewer is aware of the artist’s hand in her rough-edged forms and loosely applied paint, and of her presence as she guides us into the dreamlike webs/worlds of these mirror-sized, peculiarly seductive paintings.

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