Sideshow Gallery, Williamsburg Brooklyn
Tom Evans and Sideshow go together like a horse and carriage. Tom being a workhorse of a painter, and Sideshow his old school vehicle rattling along on its wooden wheels, displaying these painterly wares for the all the village to see.
Not that Evans is old fashioned, just out of fashion, which makes me appreciate his new work even more.
This vivid stew of neon luminescence ignites a visual fuse, and detonates before our eyes. This is action painting incarnate, tumbling scrums of acrobatic color fields wrestle each other to the floor (or perhaps the foreground) and emerge victorious in most of these boisterous canvases.
Evans says he was feeling “kicked out of painting”, and decided to get rid of some older works that were over cooked and burdening his oeuvre. He put many of his past efforts out on the curb for collection and started anew. This is a good sign, real painters always rid themselves of perceived clunkers. The last thing you want to do when rooting through your storage racks is continually remind yourself of how hard it is to learn how to paint.
However Evans has mined his previous wealth of art making expertise here, superseding flatness by draping sections of the picture plane with flecked patches of textured brushwork that connotes patterned animal pelts.
Although Evans did not waste any time with these paintings, they still accumulate a certain gravity that helps balance out the struggle for pictorial integrity that all authentic painters strive for.
These untamed riffs of muscular abstract activity promulgate physicality in the here and now, while refreshing our aesthetic senses with their unpretentious artistic vigor.