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Casually Assured Artworks Grace Et al. in 'Everything Changes'

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Brandon Walls Olsen, 'Untitled,' 2018.  (Courtesy of Et al.)

If I could make this web post turn into a flashing neon sign, it would read, “LAST CHANCE! LAST CHANCE!”

Brandon Walls Olsen and Julie Lai’s two-person show at Et al.’s Chinatown space is on view through May 19, which, based on the gallery’s regular Saturday hours, means there’s just May 19, 12-5pm to view the works. (But, pro tip, Et al. is also open by appointment.)

Using humble materials (body lotion, latex house paint, lumpy earthenware ceramics), Olsen and Lai create paintings, sculptures and works on paper that seduce with a casual assuredness and pleasing repetition of shapes.

Olsen’s paintings in particular are so outside current trends and artistic fads—especially in the rarefied world of capital-“P” painting—that they’re completely mesmerizing. This might have something to do with his color choices, which rely in large part on paint forgotten or willfully ignored by hardware store clients.

It’s a show that requires a bit of bending and squatting on the part of the viewer (both Lai’s ceramic work and a painted pediment share a bottom edge with the gallery floor), but that’s in keeping with the exhibition title, the koan-like Everything changes; nothing dies. Details here.


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