Charity Coleman on Eleen Lin and Tammie Rubin


Eleen Lin and Tammie Rubin insightfully reinterpreted fiction and historical past in “Mythodical” at C24 Gallery. The identify parses the display’s subject matters of private and cultural mythologies—each the making and undoing thereof—and the way each and every artist brings option to that insanity. The curatorial pairing of Lin (painter) and Rubin (sculptor) used to be a complementary one, with each and every presenting paintings that spanned a number of years, demonstrating how their person practices have developed and deepened through the years.

Rubin’s extensive coterie of serialized items—greater than a decade’s value—have been an exploratory index of lineage, lamentation, and groupings. A few of the works on show, the Austin-based African American artist offered a contemporary iteration of 19 variously glazed cones from the sequence “All the time & Without end (ceaselessly ever, ever)?” 2016–, produced from pigmented porcelain. The verdigris-colored helmet-like paperwork range in width and top, however all percentage textured patterned surfaces created by the use of sgraffito, braille-like extrusions, and inlays. Their hooded shapes and cutout eyeholes known as to thoughts Philip Guston’s gruesome caricature Klansmen. Rubin’s items are affecting: There's something each somber and sardonic about their motley un-sameness; the funnel shapes additionally resemble dunce caps, spiritual contrafraternity headgear, and stupas.

There’s an ebullience to a lot of Rubin’s sculptures as smartly, as in A Joyous Ripening, Salaam, and The Great thing about Insignificance, all 2014—3 bulbous stacks of round paperwork in glowy earthen colours. Those elegantly assembled agglomerations appeared delightfully animate. Silence Magical Pondering, 2009, comprised a number of mobile-like aggregations strung from the ceiling in a single nook of the gallery, tilting at attentive angles. They weren't simply perky however had a communicative high quality comparable to vintage listening to trumpets, gramophone audio system, or satellites. Throughout each and every sequence, Rubin’s paperwork have been dexterous shape-shifters that may be playthings one second and quiet reliquaries the following.

Lin’s vibrant, large-scale, and dreamy oil-and-acrylic artwork, revamped the process a decade, riffed on wonky Mandarin translations of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851). Her backgrounds, constituted of skinny washes of acrylic, literalize the unconventional’s nautical surroundings—the liquescence could also be a nod to the fluidness of Chinese language ink artwork. Lin’s compositions are swimmy and relentlessly vivid. Based totally in New York, the Taiwanese-born painter engages many aspects of tradition and historical past. What’s misplaced (or added) in translation isn't a dilemma for Lin, however a possibility to delve additional into strange serendipities whilst inventing new morphologies.

Those reworkings of the unconventional’s scenes and subject matters display one thing each unfashionable sci-fi (as fanciful as Jules Verne’s 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Beneath the Sea) and hypercontemporary. The suspenseful and doomy Perils of Existence, 2022, displays an inflatable boat, crowded with folks, adrift. One face is skeletal, a demise’s-head, whilst a lonesome determine sits atop an upturned rowboat close by. Some other vessel is unoccupied, tied up with rope or fishing line. At the water’s floor is a white whale or a jellyfish with outstretched tentacles—an oozing, ectoplasmic blob, a factor of horror and delusion all of sudden. The paintings’s identify echoes Moby-Dick’s language: “All males reside enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters spherical their necks; however it is just when stuck within the swift, surprising flip of demise, that mortals understand the silent, refined, ever-present perils of existence.” The artist out-Melvilles Melville with polychromatic ocean beasts, transcontinental and transcultural crossings, and intergalactic geometries that each one collude to shape a brand new fiction born of lacunae. Seeing the paintings of Lin and Rubin—in combination however separate—made for adventurous viewing, each and every artist rewriting the narratives at each and every flip.