Paul Cowan, Cameron Soren, Amy Yao, Jancar Jones Gallery

A couple of weeks ago I stopped by Jancar Jones Gallery to see the current exhibition featuring works by Paul Cowan, Cameron Soren and Amy Yao. One the things I like about visiting is the gallery itself, a small but inviting room tucked away on a rather idiosyncratic block of Mission Street in SOMA. Despite being such a small space, the exhibitions are always sparse and calming. (You can see previous reviews of exhibits at Jancar Jones via this link.)

[Installation View: Paul Cowan, Cameron Soren, Amy Yao. Image courtesy of Jancar Jones Gallery.]

Perhaps the pieces that most caught my interest were Paul Cowan’s two paintings featuring musical notes, both with the label Untitled, 2010. Each features a single quarter note on five-line staff without a clef. Assuming an implicit treble clef (which is admittedly a big assumption), the notes would be A and G, respectively. The “A” is on a very sparse canvas with red lines, similar to something I might have had to draw out myself during early years of studying music. The “G”, by contrast is filled in with vibrant color fields, though once again red is the most prominent color.

[Paul Cowan: Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches; and Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 18×14 inches.  Images courtesy of Jancar Jones Gallery.]

The other piece that caught my attention was Amy Yao’s Dealing Don’t Cry, which featured three small bits of newspaper fastened to a horizontal wooden dowel. The bits of text on two of the paper bits feature the text “Dealing” and “Don’t Cry” – I am always interested in the use of text, especially when the context is missing. My understanding in this work is the title is derived from the material, rather than text being found to fit the title.

[Amy Yao, Dealing Don’t Cry, 2010, wood dowel, newspaper.  Image courtesy of Jancar Jones Gallery.]

Rounding out the exhibition was Cameron Soren’s untitled video installation depicting the gallery on the opening on January 7, 6-9PM.

This is the final weekend for the exhibition – it closes on February 12 – so stop by if you happen to be nearby.