At the LA Times art blog David Pagel reports that Allison Schulnik, whose hits at Mark Moore outnumber the misses, is an artist worth watching. “The cast of characters in Allison Schulnik’s messy paintings comes from society’s underbelly: hobos, clowns, losers and vermin. “Such out-of-luck figures have been favored subjects by artists for several centuries, forming the core of much gritty Realism, dreamy Romanticism and angst-addled Expressionism.
“Schulnik piles on paint with abandon, slathering it on thickly and vigorously, like nobody’s business. She shifts scale like a pro, going from page-size pictures of flower-filled vases to larger-than-life-size portraits and landscapes that measure more than 7-by-11 feet. And she crafts loosely realistic animals, a raccoon and two possum in ceramic and porcelain.
“Her best works feel hard-won, struggled over, resolved. ‘Man With Cats,’ ‘Hobo With Bird,’ ‘Black Monkeys,’ ‘Red Flowers #3’ and ‘Raku Raccoon’ make vulnerability, trepidation and doom palpable. These powerfully subjective states correspond to the way her works have been painted: urgently, unself-consciously, even desperately. In contrast, Schulnik’s duds seem to have been tossed off, the result of motions gone through mechanically, without the emotions being awoken.”
“Allison Schulnik: Home for Hobo,” Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. Through February 6, 2010.