Fields and Figures

Two promising solo shows are opening today at SYNC Gallery, a two-year-old cooperative in the Santa Fe arts district: Tim McKay: Obligations of Being Human and Jim Olson: Pleasantly Unfocused.

McKay pours acrylic paints onto canvases in order to establish the grounds for his neo-abstract-expressionist paintings; on top he affixes strips of tape and shapes, such as circles. McKay was trained as a psychologist with a specialty in interpreting Rorschach ink-blot tests. “Using this body of knowledge,” he explains, “I made color choices and form-placement decisions that attempt to pull the viewer toward thinking about interpersonal themes.”

Olson is showing paintings and three-dimensional work in a variety of mediums, all of which have figurative elements. Especially interesting are a pair of stoneware bas-reliefs in which disconnected body parts are organized within soft grids. “I was exhausted with focus, focus, focus, so I decided to focus on variety,” Olson says, explaining his interest in experimentation.

A reception for the McKay and Olson shows will run from 6 to 9 p.m. tonight at SYNC, 878 Santa Fe Drive, Suite 1; both will be on display through April 9. For more information, go to
March 18-April 9, 2011

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Michael Paglia is an art historian and writer whose columns have appeared in Westword since 1995; his essays on the visual arts have also been published in national periodicals including Art News, Architecture, Art Ltd., Modernism, Art & Auction and Sculpture Magazine. He taught art history at the University of Colorado Denver.
Contact: Michael Paglia