Dominick Takis and Bo Petran
March 4-April 23, 2022
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 17, 6-9PM
Closing Reception: Thursday, April 21, 6-9PM
Atlantic Works Gallery
80 Border Street, East Boston, MA 02128
Reviewer: B. Amore; firstname.lastname@example.org 917-748-3661
Dominick Takis and Bo Petran are two artists in love with materiality. Takis is a lover of nature, obsessed with the qualities of lichen, its texture, colors, and shapes. He makes use of actual lichen as well as creating lichen-like textures through means as varied as spray foam, caulking, screws, and paint. A sense of mystery abounds in the built-up layers, and they continually entice the viewer to look even deeper.
His knowledge of color relationships is a key. In the sometimes-dense thicket of the wall reliefs, bright elements catch the eye. Often, they are tesserae, small mosaic-like squares in primary colors of red, blue, or yellow, that glow out of the strata of lichen and branches, as in Altered #3 where they are like dots of blue sky around the central cloud of a bee’s nest. At other times, Byzantine or Renaissance faces will appear as if out of a fog of history, to surprise us with the contemporaneity of their gaze, reminding us that we may not be as distant as we think.
There is an iconic or shrine-like quality to the work which is quite arresting. They are three-dimensional palimpsests, each layer causing us to look beyond the surface of what lies before our eyes, discovering more loving touches, more surprises, more mystery created by this painter-sculptor who is clearly in love with nature, paint, history and a deeply rooted European sensibility.
Petran’s works, carefully chosen for major impact, are larger canvases that punctuate the white walls. The surfaces of the paintings are highly sculpted in acrylic medium. In Untitled #3, the black and silver surface is roiling with energy. The rhythm of the motion over the entire canvas is a tour-de-force of painting, with the artist in skillful control. Sensuous and full of motion, the surface looks like molten metal.
Untitled #2, in silver tones, is more lyrical. The patterned painting has a lighter touch and is enlivened by what looks like flecks of iridescent metallic powders. In Untitled #1, a field of flowers, is delicately configured. The petal-like shapes stretch before the eye, filling the landscape of the mind with a hopeful feeling.
The textures of Untitled #4 rise off the surface as if they might flutter up in a soft wind. Each one is carefully delineated, both contrasting and blending with the entire field. Two hanging sculpted forms, White Flower and Grey Flowers, animate the gallery space and dance with the branches of Takis’ energetic creations.
Conditions Altered is a reminder of the constant changes present in our lives, particularly during the pandemic, and brings attention to the inherent beauty that can be discovered by an adventurous eye. The sense of exploration and excitement of both artists is palpably present. The collection of works is a perfect blending of the transition from winter to spring and well worth the visit to the Atlantic Works Gallery, at the edge of Boston Harbor in East Boston.