Andrew Hem and Mel Kadel currently have solo exhibitions on view side-by-side at LA’s Merry Karnowsky Gallery, with an opening reception slated for the evening of March 8. Hem’s “Dream but Don’t Sleep” presents a series of new paintings filled with cool-hued shadows and prismatic shapes. Though focused on figuration, Hem paints with an expressionistic looseness. His figures reveal his brushstrokes and nuanced color palettes without much blending. Yet, his work retains a sense of precision, lending it an illustrative quality that complements his Impressionist-influenced painting style.
Mel Kadel’s “Tied Up” includes a series of ink drawings on hand-stained paper. The artist primarily focuses on female characters in her work, though they depart greatly from those depicted by many of her contemporaries. Slightly androgynous, Kadel’s multitudinous characters are an industrious and persevering bunch, rowing and climbing their way through a terrain of abstract shapes that appear to represent the inner workings of the mind. The identical characters evoke homunculi carrying out the dreams and thoughts inside the imagination of a larger being.
Mel Kadel and Andrew Hem exhibit at Merry Karnowsky Gallery March 1 through March 22.