Text: Alec Coiro
Images Courtesy of Cleopatra’s
In the artist’s first solo show of drawings since 1990, we get a glimpse into his personal notebooks and discover the drawings that lie within. The titular “Study” is perhaps the nature of an artist’s notebook, which contains studies for larger projects. Indeed, those with an appetite for process will not be disappointed by several examples of ideas that seem to be in the process of being iterated into existence.
In the post-conceptual era of art where the primacy of the concept is now assumed, this show serves as a necessary reminder that for every artist there is also the stage where something has caught the artist’s eye, and he or she doesn’t quite know how to conceive of it yet. Here we see the world and the impressions the world imparts translated directly to the page to be evaluated later. The “Study” of “There was a study done” suggests both an artist at practice, artworks in the process of formation, and a diachronic look at a mind at work.
This latter aspect of the show is made possible by the wise decision to go big on the volume of sketches. The many leaves of paper in the small storefront space lends exhibit the feeling of actually being in the small space of a sketchbook. It also allows for the trippy experience of jolting from abstract works to figurative works with just the slightest twitch of the eyeball, as the drawing on display well represent Timoney’s scope.
It’s a perfect show for a gallery like Cleopatra’s that is neither for profit nor linked to an institution. The gallery is rather a truly independent space where the autonomous queen Cleopatra may peer into the most personal reaches of an artist’s psyche, to that place that commercialism and artworldism have not touched. It is also a tiny little gem of a space, which the gallerists play to their advantage by creating such intimate shows.