Picturesque ‘hydroponics’ in the Real Tinsel Gallery

Water and color are flowing elements that enable life and the possibility of human creativity. For a painter, color is the carefully cultivated raw material in a process that, for the organizers of a group exhibition at the Real Tinsel Gallery (1013-1015 W Historic Mitchell St.), is reminiscent of hydroponics. The exhibition is simply called “Hydroponics” (until October 24th).

Gallery owner (and artist and critic) Shane McAdams explains that the three artists in this group show are really a group. “Jon Faber, Stephanie McMahon, and Nina Rizzo met early in the morning in the painting department at the University of Texas at Austin,” he says. “Despite very different practices, everyone shares an appreciation for the fluidity and juiciness of color.

“Whether they were brought together by this sensitivity or at the same time took them out of the fresh Austin air is worth considering. And it is definitely worth looking around, because the 15 paintings in the exhibition show a lush and tactile painterly presence that does not exist in images on social media. ”

Faber describes his painting, which is abstract and yet connected with real images, as “a physical thought process”. McMahon’s paintings “extract and distill your observations and perceptions of a particular environment,” says McAdams. With the direct experience of places or experiences as a catalyst, Rizzo abstracts his perceptions in flowing brushstrokes and spatial ambiguities.

On October 22nd, 6 pm-9pm, there will be a final reception on “Hydroponics” in the gallery. Further information is available at

David Luhrssen

David Luhrssen lectured at the UWM and MIAD. He is the author of The Vietnam War on Film, Encyclopedia of Classic Rock, and Hammer of the Gods: Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism.

Read more from David Luhrssen

October 11, 2021

9:41 a.m.

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