Eric Mack reviews

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Review: Eric Mack travels in promising new directions, at Whitespace
March 26, 2014
By Jerry Cullum

Eric Mack’s new collaged paintings, at Whitespace through March 29, bring bits of Wassily Kandinsky and Kurt Schwitters into the 21st century by way of the shapes of deconstructivist architecture. In SRFC-1991, for example, Kandinsky-like geometric shapes and Schwitters-like segments of measuring tape take on a three-dimensional energy that transmutes into dizzying tilts and whirls in other pieces in the series. Read More.

Forms of Abstraction: Eric Mack & Ashlynn Browning at Whitespace
March 21, 2014
By Tom Berlangero

Eric Mack and Ashlynn Browning come at abstraction from different angles. The exhibition “Surfaces + Structures,” on view at Whitespace gallery through March 29, teases out parallels in the two artist’s practices, while allowing them to remain decidedly distinct. In concert with each other, the two bodies of work begin to speak to the way in which forms grow, move, and multiply, either in fields of textured and fractured shapes or in cumbersome yet self-assured forms that establish themselves in fits and starts. Read More.

In Atlanta, 2 Artists Tackling Ideas of Imagined, Created, Space
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Atlanta Journal Constitution
By Felicia Feaster

After a sabbatical of four years during which he lived and worked in Munich, Germany, artist Eric Mack has returned to Atlanta, where he offers a more polished and ambitious incarnation of his kinetic, busy, mixed-media works.

Imagine the guts of a computer’s circuit board, or a science fiction film set in some floating city of the future, and you have a sense of this inventive artist’s style. Though Mack’s language is abstraction, his use of identifiable text, numbers and other artifacts of the representational world means his work straddles the purely formal and something more approachable. His titles, which always include a number and the letters “SRFC,” allude to his new show’s title, “Surfaces + Structures,” and reference the model numbers in stereo systems, tape decks, boom boxes and video games, an affectionate homage to the technology of Mack’s youth.

Mack’s work appears alongside painter Ashlynn Browning’s in “Surfaces + Structures” at Inman Park’s Whitespace Gallery, and despite very different approaches and styles, both artists work well in tandem.

Mack’s European odyssey has clearly impacted his visual lexicon. His new works draw heavily from his time abroad, incorporating Munich train maps, crossword puzzles, signage, fliers, European architectural diagrams and Turkish textile patterns. Mack’s work is a mad flurry of typography, numbers and letters, graphics and colors that give your eyeballs a workout as you take in an array of visual stimuli. Mack mixes a plethora of materials — including the above media but also glitter, paint and bits and pieces of vintage books — in works on paper and canvas that continue to stand in for the fracas and madly buzzing character of modern life.

“Surfaces + Structures” is an interesting pairing of two artists tackling ideas of imagined, created space, though Mack may remain the more accessible of the two. Browning’s work owes a debt to artists such as Philip Guston, known for his colorful, cartoonish forms. But Browning’s work is far more reserved and orderly than the surreal, fleshy forms in neo-expressionist Guston’s kit bag.

Browning’s work is a fitting accompaniment to Mack’s graphic, spatially-acrobatic collages. Browning is also drawn to abstractions that can suggest architecture and energy rendered in some re-constituted form. But whereas Mack’s works are layered and humming with activity, Browning’s oil-on-panel paintings are purposefully one-dimensional. Executed in a matte color scheme of neon pinks and limes set against plain, industrial grays, Browning’s paintings are scrubbed of too much detail. The paintings are flat renderings of the states and circumstances she depicts.

While Mack’s works are explosive, Browning’s works are contained spheres of activity hemmed in with geometric forms like the geodesic dome shape featured in “Guston as a Boy.” In that work, a colorful geometric shape in the foreground with the look of a plastic child’s toy sprouts a minimalist halo in the same geometric style above. Titles like “Perseverance,” “Electrified” or “Rocking the Boat” suggest psychological mindsets or states of being. That excitement is often conveyed with the bold pink, yellows, blues and reds of her helix- and girder-like structures set against concrete-colored backdrops.

In “Electrified” a hot pink line surrounds a dense cluster of color and line, suggesting a sort of dangerous or exciting barrier. There is a contained and coiled energy about these paintings, like power lines or water mains whose power is only revealed once they break or burst. Browning’s works are not unappealing, though their biggest fans will surely be those with a taste for both abstraction and for locating Browning’s vocabulary in its history.

Five works by five artists
5X5 takes a mostly critical look at our media-drenched culture
October 5, 2005
Creative Loafing
by Felicia Feaster

Atlanta painter Eric Mack might seem like the odd man out in this company. His work isn’t overtly political or conceptual. But if any artist conveys the head space of living in the media machine, it’s Mack. In previous work, Mack’s abstract mixed-media collisions of magazine and newspaper images, typography and grids of kinetic, wild-style color have suggested city maps, computer circuit boards and mazes. Read more.

A study in abstraction
A winning combination of talent and charm put artist Eric Mack on the fast track

November 20, 2002
Creative Loafing
by Felicia Feaster

While the rest of us are content to just nose-breathe, Eric Mack gulps oxygen and information like a dying man. He gets excited about everything from the food to the ambiance while chatting at the hipster grotto Teaspace in Little Five Points. He uses chopsticks like an expert. He notices design and nuance. He solicits opinions. He is ravenous for knowledge, for stimulation, inspiration, direction. An hour or two spent in his company feels like mainlining the very essence of youth. Read More.