This Saturday, Merry Karnowsky gallery will present three side by side solo shows by Los Angeles based artists Mercedes Helnwein, Kim Kimbro, and Vonn Sumner. Together, their new works are elaborate and psychologically intense, depicting dream like moments. For “Mama Said Amen”, Austrian native Mercedes Helnwein exhibits her recognizable, large scale drawings of black pencil, colored pencils, and pastels. Here, her style alternates between detail and suggestion of movement, intensifed with flashes of coral. Her 50s or 60s era women gaze at the viewer with a hint of secrecy. Her emotional play is matched by Kim Kimbro’s “The Queen of Calvary”, whose animal subjects are something out of a dark fairytale. What we presume is their fantasy forest is merely hinted at by bold strokes. This provides each scene with any number of possibilities. Kimbro’s desaturated color is a compliment to Von Sumner’s “Gravity and Other Lies”. His work exudes a grayness inspired by his time in Seattle, softening the rather bizarre situations his figures find themselves in. They evoke a mixed reaction; humor, discomfort, sorrow, or perhaps all of these. The affect is completely intuitive- and intentional, as Sumner aims to address our most sincere, raw emotions.
Mercedes Helnwein, Kim Kimbro, and Vonn Sumner exhibit at Merry Karnowsky Gallery from October 11 through November 15, 2014.