J. RAYMOND MIRELES: ‘NEIGHBORS + IN RETROSPECT’
Through Sept. 1 at Circuitous Succession Gallery, 500 S. Second St. Call 901-229-1041, or visit circuitoussuccession.com. a sense of nightmarish prosperity, ennui and desperation.
At the opposite end of the scale, the “Life of the Party” series presents candid images of people having fun, though fun of the sort tinged by hysteria and potential violence.
One of my favorite images from the “Invisible River” series is “Annoyed Woman, Bar,” in which the figure of the photograph’s title gazes at the photographer wearily and sarcastically, clearly wishing he would go away.
Also from the “Invisible River” group is one of the most beautiful and haunting images I have seen in a long time. “Discarded Television” is a deceptively simple picture of just that, an old TV set, its innards a jumble of wires, tubes and diodes, beached at the edge of California’s Salton Sea.
The light is dark and fearsome, and the whole image exudes a kind of existential dread of abandoned objects, at the same time as it projects a sublime radiance of sky, water and earth.
The figures in the sequence of “Neighbors” presented here exude immense calm and dignity. In their forthright postures and frank individuality, they seem almost sculptural, the embodiment of a human spirit that may be humble in origin but is magnificent in expectation and composure, from “Neon Burgundy, Drag Queen” in New Orleans to the young female clam digger in Shelton, Washington, to “Chuco,” a former gang member ex-con turned motivational speaker.
With their super-saturated hues, stark white backgrounds and intense depictions of every detail, these images seem timeless.
Viewers familiar with Richard Avedon’s work may be reminded of his project that culminated in “In the American West” in 1985, but where that justly famous series of black-and-white images dwelt on a common denominator of misery and casualty, Mireles’ work in “Neighbors” emphasizes self-sufficiency, community and pride. Art Museum of the University of Memphis (Communication and Fine Arts Building), 3750 Norriswood: “Flying Colors: Asafo Flags of the Fante,” through Oct. 1. Colorful flags from the Fante people of Ghana in West Africa. 901-678-2224. memphis.edu/amum Circuitous Succession Gallery, 500 S. Second: J. Raymond Mireles Retrospective, through Sept. 1. Closing reception 6-9 p.m. Aug. 26. Photographic compilation of San Diego artist Mireles’ work from past to present, including recent photos of Memphis residents that are part of his latest project, Neighbors. 901-229-1041. circuitoussuccession.com Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park: “Their Line Has Gone Out Through All the Earth: Spring and Summer Flower Drawings by Carlyle Wolfe,” through Aug. 7. Exhibition features plants that flower from the months of February to August. Also, “The Impressionist Revolution: Forty Years of French Art at the Dixon,” ends Sunday. 901761-5250. dixon.org Epiphany Salon & Gallery, 440 N. Front (Suite 104): Judith Weintraub: Art Show, through Aug. 31. 901-5223010. epiphanysalonmemphis.com Jay Etkin Gallery, 942 S. Cooper: Summer Group Exhibition: Part 1, through July 30. Works by Johnny Taylor, Julie Schumer, Pam Cobb, Nathan Yoakum. 901550-0064. Gallery Ten Ninety One, 7151 Cherry Farms Road (WKNO Digital Media Center), Cordova: The 35th Juried Exhibition of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, through July 28. Thirty selected paintings. 901-458-2521. wkno. org David Lusk Gallery-memphis, 97 Tillman St.: Nancy Cheairs: “New Paintings,” Tim Crowder: “Accumulator” and Kelly S. Williams: “The Playbook,” through July 30. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 901-767-3800. davidluskgallery.com Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 1934 Poplar Ave., Overton Park: Veda Reed: “Day into Night,” through Sept. 4. 901-544-6200. brooksmuseum.org Memphis College of Art’s Nesin Graduate School, 477 S. Main St.: “2016 Biennial Alumni Exhibition,” through Aug. 6 in Hyde Gallery. Reception 6-9 p.m. July 29. Work from 28 alumni and former students in media ranging from sculpture and abstract paintings to installations and video projections. Noon-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon-7 p.m. Saturday and on Trolley Nights. 901-272-5100. Memphis College of Art, 1930 Poplar (Overton Park): “Sankofa: An Ancestral Journey,” through July 30 in Rust Hall Alumni Gallery. Sculpture incorporating found objects, installations, excerpts of creative writing. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. mca.edu National Ornamental Metal Museum, 374 Metal Museum Drive: Stephen Yusko: “Tributaries,” through Aug. 7. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday; closed Mondays. 901-774-6380. metalmuseum.org L Ross Gallery, 5040 Sanderlin, Suite 104: Summer Group Exhibition, through July 30. Painting and sculpture. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. 901-767-2200. Lrossgallery.com. Tops Gallery, 400 S. Front: Haynes Riley: “An Attitude You Can Wear,” through Aug. 13. New works. 901-3400134. topsgallery.com.
John Mireles, “Chuco.” From “Neighbors + in retrospect” at Circuitous Succession Gallery.