Art Review: Ann Glazer’s ‘Group Show’ at The Reading Room

The sly punch line that is the title of Ann Glazer’s show at The Reading Room across from Fair Park seems sufficient enough a statement. “Summer Group Show” is a tongue-and-cheek jab at the slapdash exhibitions that take up gallery space during the slow hot months each year.  In an article printed out to accompany the show, Andrew Berardini , ArtSlant’s West Coast Editor, calls the artistic phenomenon “a ubiquitous and almost entirely useless animal that lumbers around every June through August to haphazardly stuffed galleries.”

The theme of the show, therefore, is themeless-ness, and Glazer’s disparate objects that hang about the Reading Room’s tiny space suggest it is a gallery theme that should perhaps be indulged more often. There’s a sumptuous, rust-colored velvet canvas, a framed t-shirt brandishing a cheeky slogan in Italian, and a gold leaf hung sculpture that plays off texture and shape – a bookish block embedded in a shimmering, rocky outcropping.

Above the art space’s reception desk there is a curious video piece depicting a woman in gypsy-like drapery, holding fabric flags, spinning in space and waiving her arms around like a tarmac aircraft director.   There is a cagey surrealism to the video, its fuzzy image is jumpy, clunky, and repetitious — the woman confined in both its frame and timelessness. It works as a metaphor the artist: the flamboyant orchestrator trapped by a fidelity to one’s own oeuvre. Only here the piece is one of the ways Glazer shakes off the restraints of career cohesiveness, setting aside her thread, shadowy collages, and evocative, feminine abstracts, for more eccentric doodles and dabbles. Think of it as a summer vacation: full of leisure and fresh air.

Image: Video still, New Becoming, 2010