Michael Melik has been bringing some of the most unconventional exhibits to his Contemporary Design & Art Gallery, and this month’s is almost literally mind-blowing. After May’s showcase of Eastern European artists who left Communist states in search of artistic freedom, this month’s group show, Feeling Surrealism, is aptly titled because all the works are emotionally evocative. Ranging from imaginary landscapes to portraits seen through a wildly colored lens, the works by these artists present a wide spectrum of styles not normally encountered in our region.
The featured artist is Steven Teuscher, former owner of Fables Gallery on Exchange Place around the time of the 2002 Olympics. His textural abstract paintings provide much for the eye to follow in their implied shapes and compositional tracings. Like the best surrealist art, they are extremely suggestive to the mind’s eye.
Included among contributions from 14 artists and six sculptors are works by painter Orest Nakonechniy and collagist Matasa, who were seen in last month’s exhibit of Eastern European artists. Terrel VanLeeuwen’s “Son of Sun” is a visage afflicted with solar flares, throwing off heat like the center of a solar system. Brian Hoover (detail of an untitled painting pictured), whose work has been seen in numerous Utah art spaces over most of the last decade, recalls Renaissance classicism and even a little bit of the Byzantine. His figures’ realistic faces are affixed to heads and bodies that appear to be explosions of some mixture of capillaries, gray matter and sheer energy.