It may be appropriate that the first solo exhibit at Seminole Heights’ new Quaid Gallery highlights the work of Anthony Record. Record is perhaps the main driving force behind the group of artists that coalesced into the Tampa Drawers Sketch Gang which further developed into a proper gallery and collective.
Similar Scars features some of Anthony Record’s newest work in his paintings, a new zine and his sculptural painting series of ‘Jizzies’. The exhibit finds him delving further into abstraction. The only remnants of Record’s previously familiar scatological approach is found in some of the artwork titles. Otherwise, he seems to have fully abandoned figuration.
Record seems to have reduced his compositions to its fundamental parts and is thoroughly scrutinizing each of the components. A line, its curve, a shape and field of color are no longer tools but the subject itself. While back-to-basics in painting can seem like an oft retread concept, something different seems to be happening with Record’s work.
While Record may appear to have fully embraced abstraction I can’t shake the feeling that there is some sort of persisting innuendo, a trace figurative image. This feeling isn’t borne out of the previously mentioned titles as much it’s simply confirmed by them. The leap Record previously asked us to make between abstraction and figuration, an image and its interpretation, is now stretched nearly as far as it can be. And still I find myself jumping – I’m still finding folds of skin, limbs, bodies in the compositions.
This back-to-basics approach is really operating in a much more nebulous space. It’s not quite the basic components of painting being scrutinized, but their function. To be more specific, Record’s new work investigates their function in a very specific space, one he hasn’t pinpointed so precisely as now: that narrow space and moment when nonsense becomes information and we pluck a pattern out of randomness.
A profile of Anthony Record and his art is featured in the first issue of ART AT BAY Magazine. You can pick up an issue here.