Midnight at the Oasis
Gradient & Rubber Paintings, Foam Sculptures
The tone of depth and sophistication established by the conscious arrangement of work on the gallery walls is undercut by the anomalous comedy of two vaguely fruit-shaped sculptures perched upon a chunk of Styrofoam flotsam in the center of the highly polished floor.
The dark reflection of Limousine stretches towards the shore of this odd interruption, an oasis of humor in a conversation of color and form that encodes more serious matters than might first appear.
Leaving the exhibition space is like stepping out of a pool or some other immersive environment that engages the senses.
Any doubt as to whether we are meant to engage in intellectual free play as well as sensual enjoyment and formal appreciation of spatial arrangement is dispelled by Mitchell’s artist statement, which consists of artfully selected etymological passages from dictionaries, dancing adroitly among historical associations of the words used in the titles of the works and of the exhibition.
We very quickly notice the presence of body fluids, social relationships, practical activities with symbolic implications, facts from the sciences, and enough other suggestive linkages to keep attentive readers busy for longer than they might wish.
– Jerry Cullum
In addition to showing considerable technical skill through nearly imperceptible changes in color, the gradient paintings, rendered in acrylic latex, contribute most directly to the atmosphere.