Category Archives: Matthew Piper

17 Megan Parry

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Born Hornell, New York, 1944 Lives in Detroit and Alfred, New York

The paintings of Megan Parry are obsessed with looking. In her wry and varied visual universe, cartoonish, bald-headed figures peer at the viewer, at one another, or at obscure objects of interest that only they can see. Huge, lidless eyeballs (intimations of vast, inscrutable beings that the canvas cannot contain) hover in close-up and stare with a deranged intensity (as in Aspetto, 2008–2010), or else a kind of cosmic serenity. When Parry paints houses, their windows are often eyes: personifying, face-making. Even her multitudinous coffins and “enclosures,” isolated details of an architecture of confinement, have eyes, have windows—or if they don’t, they insistently don’t, inviting the viewer to wonder what is being kept in (or out) behind their solid walls.

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12 David Rubello

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Born Detroit, 1935 / BFA, Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma; MFA, University of Michigan / Lives in Ray, Michigan, and Palm Coast, Florida

If there are tendencies that unite what is categorically understood as “Detroit art” in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the two- and three- dimensional paintings of David Rubello stand outside of them. If Detroit art is messy, Rubello’s is meticulous. If Detroit art tends toward representation, Rubello’s insists on abstraction. If Detroit art is a reflexive interrogation of the postindustrial condition, Rubello’s formalist paintings exist in an idealized, apolitical, and ageographic universe of pure visuality, where form is content and content simply form.

Yet Rubello is a Detroit artist, and by folding him into that category, the category itself becomes enlarged, becomes more clearly connected to aesthetic traditions, both classical and modern, that continue to inform art and design world- wide. Since the late 1960s, he has experimented with line, shape, color, and perspective in an expansive, evolving body of work that retains an essential precision and verve even as it charts new territory in geometric abstraction, dimensionality, and interactivity.

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