The true magic of art lies in its ability to interact with its audience. When you walk into C24’s latest exhibition, Mindscapes, by Regina Scully, you instantaneously feel that magic. Scully’s pieces, a multifarious ensemble performing a colorful symphony of visual jazz, “slow and fast marks” that immediately draws you in.
There is a recognizable balance of purposefully precision and improvisational whimsy in this exhibition. Scully readily admits that while she maintains a certain degree of control, she allows her paintings to take her where they may. In kind, the pieces have the same effect on her audience, whisking us away on an interpretative joyride where we mold the landscapes, proclaim the patterns, commandeer the weather and write the language. Scully states:
“The idea is for people to finish the paintings themselves… to see what they see. I don’t want to tell people what to see. The viewer sees places that I’ve never been… one person will say ‘God, this reminds me of Australia in March,’ another person may say, ‘This is Wisconsin’ or ‘this is Hawaii…'”
Despite having her own translations of what she truly thinks the pieces portray, Scully presents each piece without any titles, leaving us not a cliff note or even a shred of confirmation that we are getting the “main idea.” It almost seems a little cruel, as if Scully is sending us on some wondrous wild goose chase. Scully denies any mischievous intent by offering a simple but empowering explanation, “this is your world! I mean, it’s mine while I’m exploring [and creating] it but still…”
In theory, Scully is a builder. She first gravitated towards metalwork and jewelry and applies the same technique to painting. “After doing lots of sculpture, [I asked myself] ‘what if I create space on a two-dimensional plane?’ It gets interesting. It accesses people’s subconscious and what is inside of them,” Scully reveals. During the opening exhibition, the gallery was buzzing with varying theories and custom descriptions of each painting—even eavesdropping was an experience in itself.
Mindscapes is essentially about trust. The audience relinquishes control and allows Scully to offhandedly shepherd them through each piece. However, with the paper pieces, it is Scully who relinquishes control. “The paper is unforgiving,” admits Scully. Each stroke becomes permanent and determined. This turning of the tables is a pleasant shift that adds to the charm of this exhibition. Mindscapes is without narrative, an unassembled puzzle waiting to be pieced together.
Granted a special New Year extension, this week is the last chance to see Mindscapes. So, if you’re in the Chelsea area, be sure to stop by C24 Gallery. Tell them Quiet Lunch sent you!
Mindscapes by Regina Scully
November 2 – January 6 2018
c24 Gallery | 560 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011
Akeem is our founder. A writer, poet, curator and profuse sweater, he is responsible for the curatorial direction and overall voice of Quiet Lunch. The Bronx native has read at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, KGB Bar, Lovecraft and SHAG–with works published in Palabra Luminosas and LiVE MAG13. He has also curated solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries in Chelsea, Harlem, Bushwick and Lower Manhattan.