Charles Andresen and Chris Riddell are two quintessentially local American artists, legends in their own cities. Charles Andresen, who has spent twenty-five years working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was trained in the realist tradition but now practices biomorphic abstraction. Chris Riddell is a Michigan born-and-bred artist, who is famous for mining the detritus of the city as the source for his work in collage and found objects.
Charles Andresen’s Detroit Red, on the upper level of the gallery, presents his highly tactile “throw paintings,” created by flinging viscous acrylic paint at stretched canvas. Their lush surfaces reveal a range of palettes from brilliant prismatic to somber nocturnes. Andresen views his method as a form of Surrealist Automatism, a way to discover the unforeseen. Swirls, dots, and arching lines act as dynamic guides for the eye through the dense materiality of his paintings.
Chris Riddell’s Lavender, on the lower level, is a group of punchy abstract drawings and paintings that hint and tease at underlying shapes and figurative explorations. Often bright and cheerfully colored, the emphasis is on the line and its unbridled movement and aggressive drawing. Representational elements battle with a tendency to double down on the possibilities that comes with harsh juxtaposition of color. These works are viscerally charged, and subconsciously sourced.