Ginny Casey: Combing the Honey Home
March 4 through April 7, 2021
By ALFRED ROSENBLUTH, April 2021
Half Gallery exhibited the selected works of Ginny Casey’s Combing The Honey Home – a solo exhibition of the artist’s labors completed under observance of quarantine over the past year. A poetic compression of the phrase “honey I’m home!” and the image of a bee hive, symbolic of nurturing domain, the show’s title itself introduces the same open and intuitive frame of mind with which the artist approaches her work.
Despite the implication of an occupied domicile, many of the show’s paintings exclude the presence of human forms. Works such Good Listener, Alien Hands or Biting the Dog introduce the condition that when such forms do appear, they arrive either as appendages of the inanimate or with an inorganic woodiness – both of which cause a regard for the human form as less-human than were they more developed. Such a condition within this show elaborates the interplay between “organic and man-made” which Sasha Bagojev identified as a prominent theme of Casey’s previous exhibit at Half Gallery.
The first irony of Combing the Honey Home, is that Casey’s works that do omit human forms remain deeply humanistic; the second, is that the solitude which imbues her interiors and landscapes points to a quiet warmth which surrealism has often overlooked in favor of expounding on a sense of alienation. In Casey’s capacity to empathize with the inanimate, they become vessels of her experience charting their development – the surface of each object appears embedded with the felt quality of human attention given to every moment of its genesis. Once we attune to each portrayed object as a type of individual, it becomes apparent that their bulging forms speak of interconnectedness rather than estrangement and not in spite of, but in resonance with their subdued atmospheres that invite an introvert’s regard.
It’s in Webbed Connection, that the sense of interconnection appears as subject and allegory most explicitly. Such works derive their efficacy from as artist who acts as visionary witness to inherent connection and beauty that is stated as a matter of fact rather than as a state of exception.
Her objects detach from their subordinate function to humans and are rendered into a realm of sacred uselessness as we see in Giddy Up. Here, the elements basic to the sign of ‘shoe’ are preserved up to the edge of coming undone. Casey’s love of a form’s inner life telegraphs through the shoes’ individualities and magnifies in their lack of conforming to even the concept of remaining identical as a pair; unshackled from the yokes of human need, the shoes float, free to participate in a society of the sentient.
Overall, the strongest case for the consistency of Casey’s vision that is a common element of all her works, is made by the largely bi-chromatic application of paint that presents her subjects with an immediacy that reflects the artist’s confidence in their autonomy. That is to say, its only by roughly two colors per any given segment of Ginny’s subjects that she provides us with the maximum amount of information which provides these objects a credible volume without invoking a conceptualism that would compete with the amplitude of their presence. Orchestrating the enumerated qualities of Ginny Casey’s paintings, this privileging of immediacy only serves the virtues of a vision unencumbered by excess. WM