the KENT DORN painting show and the concurrent JENNIFER SULLIVAN video at FREIGHT+VOLUME, up thru Jan 4, 2011 – received a really nice review by KEN JOHNSON in the NEW YORK TIMES, last FRIDAY, DEC 10, 2010. I really liked it, not only for it’s take – but because instead of a bunch of descriptive text – it actually offered up – a lot to think about.

the take – was that: “Many young artists these days seem to be haunted by the legacy of their parents’ – and now grandparents’ – hippie revolution. Some like the group Assume Astro Vivid Focus, try to keep the tie-dyed euphoria of the ’60s alive. Others, like the painter Kent Dorn and the video performance artist Jennifer Sullivan, who are perfectly matched in this affecting show, obliquely and sadly reflect on the lingering memories of these bygone days.”

I’m not sure that is a perfect end-all encompassing summation of Kent Dorn’s work – it would be interesting to ask the artist for his take !! – but it is an intriguing sentiment for both – and it definitely serves Ms. Sullivan’s work – esp. this particular video anyways – well.

I personally enjoyed Ms. Sullivan’s video visually – but was hard put to frame the experience in words. Mr. Johnson did an excellent job of illuminating the context of the short clip, as follows:
“In her charmingly slight, bittersweet video ‘One-Week Walden’, the winsome Ms. Sullivan narrates her attempt to emulate Thoreau with a childlike voice. That meant a week in a pop-up camper in the weedy far end of her father’s suburban backyard. Nicely understated and deadpan funny, Ms. Sullivan’s video is a canny satire of foolishly romantic, extended-adolescent narcissism.”
right on.

Jennifer’s pop-up look at Walden – included a glance at contemporary litter . . . and culture . . .

Ken Johnson was right – Jennifer’s video – was understated. and that’s a funny thing to carry off – when you’ve donned a come-hither wig, not to mention – a revealing go-go get-up !!

JENNIFER SULLIVAN at the opening, a very different persona in reality. (or maybe not.)
nice job, Jennifer.

KENT DORN, ‘Untitled (Van)’, 2010. Mixed media on canvas. 45 x 65 in.

Ken Johnson’s take on Mr. Dorn’s work was also intriguing:
“Mr. Dorn’s painted scenes of feral youth in forest settings similarly evoke baffled nostalgia for back-to-nature counterculturism. Color is muted, creating a dank, gloomy atmosphere that dims the feebly glowing sun. Broad areas of the paintings are rendered in watercolorlike staining, while selected parts are built up into crusty, greasy, absurdly thick impasto. The image of an abandoned, broken-down van titled ‘Van/Hideaway2’ suggests that we are closer to the world of ‘Kids’, Larry Clark’s mordant paean to juvenile delinquency, than that of ‘Woodstock’. It is a mental landscape of loss and repressed grief where the promises of yesteryear hang in the air like fading echoes. One painting depicts a rustic signboard bearing spray-painted letters. They spell, fittingly, ‘The End.’ ”
. . .

KENT DORN, ‘Fall’, 2010. Mixed media on canvas, 54 X 36 in.


KENT DORN – ‘Remains’ & JENNIFER SULLIVAN – ‘One-Week Walden’ – up thru JAN 4, 2011
FREIGHT+VOLUME – 530 + 542 W245th St.