Brian Lund at Smith Stewart Gallery | Review by Jill Conner
In the late 1990s, when the art market began to recover from the crash of the 1980s, everything visual began falling into the canon of contemporary art. By the end of 2008, in fact, nearly everything was art. Magazines had increased their coverage of valid, creative media throughout the last decade to encompass works in music, fashion, sports and film, because everything at that time in society moved so smoothly and appeared so impressive that it had to be called, a work of art. Brian Lund's current exhibition, "A Very Real and Very Dark Time," contains about a dozen drawings that capture a personal translation of major motion pictures into an abstract idea.
Lund has long been a fan of Bob Fosse and his award-winning choreography seen in films such as "Cabaret," (1972) and "Kiss Me Kate." (1953) While watching these movies, the artist devised his own set of symbols and lines that piece together larger Rorschach-like interpretations. "Double Star 80 (3000+ Edit Cuts)" (2008) for example, portrays a skeletal, leaf-like arabesque made from a labyrinth of tiny lines when seen from afar.
"Selected Edit Cuts from Sweet Charity and Lenny," (2008) depicts an overall pattern that hints at the outline of a Georgia O'Keefe. And yet a close-up view of each piece such as, "Double Cabaret (2400 Edit Cuts)," (2008) captures a multitude of circles and lines that move, undulate and double-back both toward and away from each other.
Could Lund be taking one for a twirl? Yes and no. While it would be easy to brush these pieces off as nothing more than a personal fantasy, these drawings carry on where Mondrian left off with, "Broadway Boogie-Woogie." (1942-43) Lund's drawings are not only layered, by offering two different experiences when seen either close up or far away, but unlike the Modern master who sought to capture the angled movements of New York City, these drawings investigate the shape of moving forms that have piqued our own curiosities for decades. By following each line circle and square, visualizations of dancers' jumps, moves and gestures, within the scope of strict choreographic symmetry gradually come to light.