Friday, September 30, 2011

The Dark End of the Street

I've always been drawn to the darker side of art as any visitor to my house will attest. The current exhibition (Black and White) at the Oliver Sears Gallery takes me right where I want to be - to the dark end of the street. There is a hardly a dud piece in this outstanding show but the moody presence of Robert Motherwell's Elegy looms large over everything else. It lives up to Motherwell's own description of it as "a funeral song for something one cared about". See it and weep - then stay and admire the rest of the show. The other pieces that struck me were a small troubling Diane Arbus, an unusual black and white Hughie O'Donoghue, a gloriously explicit Picasso drawing, and an elegant, immaculately crafted Joseph Walsh table. The latter's order and decorum seemed incongruous amidst the brooding chaos of most of the other work.