Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Aloysius - Urban Element Restaurant - Nov. 24, 2004 - 3 stars

Murph Aloysius Kissel, describes his acrylic-based paintings on canvas and salvage as "colorful, primitive abstractions," which doesn't do his work justice. For starters, "primitive," in terms of art history (not excluding cultural objects of the Oceanic, African, etc. communities, children's artwork, outsider art or any art movement) is simply an unacceptable descriptor as it has too many negative (unsophisticated, uncivilized) connotations. There are too many other words to use in its place. Overt symbolism trickles through the sherbet-hued solid backdrops for his literal, abstracted scenes on UE's north wall. Two paintings of St. George and the Dragon, an Orthodox Christian image that dates to Roman Egypt, are stripped of any spiritual perspective (literally and figuratively) and interpreted successfully into an aggressive surrealist moment. The minimal iconic language gracefully subsists void of George (here a rigid, angular, stick figure) the Martyr's victory crown, Roman armor, horse and metaphoric layers. The weightless drama is depicted in a graphic, flat style that suggests the distortion of Miro with angular plasticity. Aloysius' work can be seen regularly at LAMP Gallery ( The naiive at best work of Herron grad Brett Jones hangs on UE's east wall in sharp and homely contrast, compliments of, who should be discriminating about what they tout as fine art to Indianapolis. Through November, 2004; 317-331-U82. -Mary Lee Pappas

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