Metaphor Contemporary Art in Brooklyn opens the season with "Slippery When Wet" (through November 22), a group show that extends that summer feeling of a breezy day at the beach with a focus on the theme of water. Presenting the work of seven artists: Suzan Batu, Susan Homer, Nancy Manter, Joanne Mattera, Andrew Mockler, Don Muchow, Peter Schroth -- this beautifully curated show offers a nice range of approaches to photography, descriptive painting, and pure abstraction, all dealing loosely or directly with some aspect of the aquatic realm. There are many wonderful relations and conversations among the works -- the image or sensation of pooling tidal ebb and flow brings the abstract calligraphy of Batu and the traditional oil waterscapes of Schroth together with Muchow's glistening zenlike photographs, and is also echoed in Mockler's shifting horizontal stripes and Mattera's modulating color. The fluidity of calligraphic markmaking dominates the work of Batu and Schroth, as well as Homer's large etherial landscape, and is expanded in Manter's photos of panes of glass which read like gestural abstract paintings. The entire show is infused with soft blues, silvery grays and silky surfaces. The centerpiece of the show is Mattera's selection of 18 encaustic panels that occupy the end wall of the gallery, and exquisitly embody the show's theme in an endless and expansive exchange of color resonance and shimmering surface that embraces the viewer like an ocean breeze on an August afternoon.
To see a pictorial walk-through of the exhibition as well as candid shots of the opening, go to Joanne Mattera's Blog.