Despite the show’s title and mailers sent to gallery clients, there was a moment of stunned awe when guests strolled into the Angela Kallus exhibit opening at Trifecta Gallery last week. Anyone who’s followed Kallus’ work in recent years—minimalist concentric circles on canvas—knows that the representational drawings live up to the show’s title: And Now, For Something Completely Different.
The voyeuristic works on paper—graphite, charcoal and carbon pencil—display impeccable drafting. Then there’s the subject matter: sock monkeys, toys and roller skates posed precociously, a dalliance between innocent childhood nostalgia and adult themes.
- And Now, For Something Completely Different
- Trifecta Gallery 366-7001
The still life drawings began as exercises for Kallus, who is teaching a college-level drawing class, then evolved into amusing narratives. A sock monkey in snowman drag, leaned onto a box with a nearby banana peel (added for amusement), led to that same sock monkey leaning against a cardboard box while another stuffed toy (best described by Kallus as a gay longshoreman) stands, arms crossed in the background, resembling, she says, a “cruising scene.” It continued from there. Toys bought off eBay arrived in the mail, and Kallus had her models ready to play out their clever scenarios.
The work is not only impressive from concept to execution, but is also (compared with Kallus’ abstract works) a refreshing reminder of the evolution of artists—and art history itself—moving beyond the basics and representational works into a new dimension of conveying ideas.