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Architecture/Archetype 

FRIDAY 9.18

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This month’s gallery stroll finds Kayo Gallery changing things up, switching Kenny Riches’ painting with works by Joey Behrens and David Ruhlman, which were originally scheduled for November. Behrens and Ruhlman are a fascinating pairing since they both take in large-scale social landscapes—Ruhlman from a historical perspective and Behrens from an architectural one. Behrens is fresh from August’s “24 Hours” show at Kayo, in which artists created 24 pieces spontaneously in a 24-hour period.

Behrens’ prints of cityscapes, such as “Pushing Up, Rooting Down #3” (detail pictured), feature the presence of buildings as imposing as features in the natural landscape like high cliff walls yet also symbolizing the marks humans make on the world. As the natural becomes more subjugated, a kind of “second nature” has been created in the social landscape of urban structures that Behrens conveys better than most local artists.

Ruhlman’s mixed-media pieces use a fauxprimitive iconography to depict the struggles of humanity throughout history: wars, violence and fighting against the elements in an environment that is just as altered as in Behrens’ work. But his subjects are riveted by the wreckage of the human time on Earth, with the survivors turning to a totemic spirituality of symbolic animals and other creatures, as though to ward off the animal impulses inside us. The instruments of destruction, paradoxically, become part of the very same iconography, elucidating a tragic cycle.

Regular City Weekly contributor Cara Despain, who works primarily with wood and will create an installation in the gallery’s front window, rounds out the month’s offerings from the gallery nicely, giving the right balance of the human and the historical.

Joey Behrens prints & paintings/David Ruhlman paintings @ Kayo Gallery, 177 E. 300 South, 801-532-0080, Sept 18-Oct 12, KayoGallery.com

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