Art Lies, Volume 3, October-November 1994

doesn't even crack a smile. His straight-faced
transposition of '70s "supergraphics" resem-
ble the vacuous wall decor of cafeterias and
airports as well as the kind of out-of-date logo
design no self-respecting corporation would
be caught dead with in these days of digital
flawlessness.
Bringing us back to the nineties, sort of,
Wade Chandler simulates computer circuit
board designs and silkscreens the patterns
onto the smallest canvases in the show. Like
Elrod's pictures, they want to draw abstrac-
tion into a larger dialogue, one concerning
technology, image and reference. This could
go somewhere yet the execution is too simple,
and the colors remind one more of tie-dyes
than diodes.
Leaving enough room in his work for ex-
tended contemplation, Tad Griffin doesn't
forget to clear out a place for beauty. His
squeegee- and roller-assisted smears and
shimmers suggest a high-speed transfer of in-
formation as well as a slow-motion transmis-
sion of white noise. They're contemporary
without being cynical, technological without
resort to literal reference, and, perhaps most
importantly for this show, are as much about
the tradition of abstract painting as about a
new world order.
The exhbition leaves us with works that sit at
the far end of process (Mancuso) and the far
end of irony (Elrod) and rarely do they meet.
Even within the category of process, the sen-
suality of Mann is paired with the austerity of
Mancuso, and so on, which would be okay if
there weren't strategy and irony to contend
with as well.
Somehow, the pairing of Mancuso and Mann,
however awkwardly different in temperament,
suggests the most intriguing comparison, per-
haps because these two (as well as Rosmarin

and Griffin) appear most set in their ways
while the other's works feel transitional.
While Mancuso is all about the artist's hand
going through the motions, Mann never
touches his except to spin the wheel, yet the
product is far more extravagant than Mancu-
so's rather cold delivery. Mancuso oozes in-
ward whereas Mann is a high velocity extro-
vert, dazzling up the surfaces with no inten-
tion, or need, to go deeper than the sensations
of crayons melting together.
"Process, Strategy, Irony's" laudable ambi-
tions coupled with the fact that it's the tight-
est, best-looking show DiverseWorks has had
for some time, make it a remarkable and pro-
vocative exhibition. And yet it never gets
quite deep enough, sidestepping the question
of whether abstract painting has enough fuel
left in its tank to reach its next destination.

/i

Huerta, Benito; Ballou, Chris & Loftus, Kelley. Art Lies, Volume 3, October-November 1994. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth228036/. Accessed September 2, 2015.