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Open Container


You might want to hold onto last nights "take out" boxes they may hold the inspiration for your next great artwork. So one might think after viewing "Open Container", a solo show of exceptional paintings and works on paper by Boston artist Anthony Palocci Jr. at et al projects (56 Bogart Street). A first glance at the selection of paintings in muted tones of grayish greens reveals subject matter including computer keypads, cardboard coffee cup trays, and empty food containers. These paintings are less about issues of consumption and commerce, but rather meditations on color, light and form.

et al Vibrant undercoats of orange and yellow inform and solidify the painting surface, while linear elements trace the rise and fall of shape within space, indicating both volume and light. In "Boneless Spare Ribs" 2014, a ruddy container is delineated in spare ways; one brightened edge here, a set of angled lines there. The paint handling is confident and current, loose and signature-like but paired with all the components of classic pictorial structure; perspective, line, overlap, shadow. A peek into the back room at et al reveals works on paper wherein Palocci Jr's strategy is reduced to its essence; charcoal lines suggesting form through angle alone. These works are far from simplistic. They are a knockout. The current art conversation is full of slap-dash and hollow gesture and Palocci Jr's monumental contribution reminds us, in an even-handed way, not to be so quick to throw out the classic concerns of paint. The readily discarded may yet have much to offer. (through April 6th).

—Enrico Gomez