If you haven’t seen the new Locust Projects space (a multiple Knight Arts Challenge finalist), and, in particular, the paintings from Natalya Laskis, Wednesday, March 28 will be a good opportunity to pay a visit. You’ll like what you see.
Starting with the new gallery — it must be said it is an improvement on the last incarnation on 38th Street (this writer has a soft spot for the first location, in the stark warehouse in Wynwood, but life moves on). The latest Locust on North Miami Avenue in the Design District is expansive and handsome, with lots of room for the works to breathe.
That is the case for the large paintings from Laskis, which inaugurate the main space — interestingly, her exhibit is called “Shortness of Breath.” To continue the metaphor, this type of painting appearing at Locust is also refreshing. To match the size of the paintings, Laskis used not only a paintbrush, but brooms and skis to create these works.
On the base level, these are figurative works, inspired by photographs both personal and found. Laskis then lets the abstract strokes take-over, blurring the lines and distinctions — in one case, literally obliterating the face. That piece, immediately to the right when entering the gallery, is the most powerful and emotional in the show. It’s a strong solo outing and a good introduction to the new space.
In the Project Room, Emmett Moore wallpapered the surfaces with colorful grid and geometric patterns, and put up some minimalist, totem-like sculptures, for “High, Low and in Between.” It will become immediately clear that Moore is as immersed in interior design as in traditional fine arts, as the materials and patterns make the biggest impression.
Both the artists will be talking about their work on Wednesday, first with a walk-through from Moore starting at 6 p.m., then with a conversation with Laskis, moderated by Fred Snitzer, whose gallery represents her, at 6:30.
“Shortness of Breath” and “High, Low and in Between” run through April 27 at Locust Projects, 3852 N. Miami Ave., Miami; a talk with the artists takes place at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 28; www.locustprojects.org.