‘Alex Kwartler & Elke Solomon’ at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery

Kwartler & Solomon, 'untitled,' 2013. (Courtesy the artists and Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery)

Kwartler & Solomon, ‘untitled,’ 2013. (Courtesy the artists and Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery)

This mother-and-son show plays equally well as a sweet duet or as a passive-aggressive duel. Manhattanite Alex Kwartler made his four untitled paintings by quickly brushing tinted plaster onto door-sized sheets of plywood and then polishing them with floor wax till they gleamed. Blue and pink contend in two grayish panels, more brightly in one than in the other, as if recording the round of day and night in columns of cloud; in another, purple, lavender and oily yellow-green wash in and out under a surface of white scribbles and reflections. It’s surprising how much personal gesture can sneak in under the gaudy self-effacement. Gently lighting and being reflected in her son’s work, meanwhile, are five untitled mixed-media light fixtures by New York artist Elke Solomon. Handfuls of caged string lights, bunches of copper wire, sequins, champagne corks, silk roses and pairs of round light bulbs surrounded by rubber-band balls of exactly the same size reframe the marginalizing oppression of the domestic and decorative and invoke Oedipal castration and blindness while simultaneously insisting, “Don’t worry about it.” (Through June 23, 2013)

‘Alex Kwartler & Elke Solomon’ at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery