Opening Reception: Saturday October 13, 8-11pm
Merry Karnowsky Gallery is proud to present Mel Kadel’s latest solo-exhibition, Stuck on a Wave. A treasure for tired eyes, this exhibition is jammed to the seams with vibrant patterns and resplendent in all the colors of Mel’s customized spectrum.
What the blind-man’s stitch is to Chinese embroidery Kadel’s fantastically delicate pen strokes are to drawing. She works her .005 millimeter lines across hand stained paper and lets vintage ‘50s pastel shades fill the gaps in all manner of patterns. They are reminiscent of fish scales, leaves, flowers and interlocking chains but most characteristically – of the steady ebb and flow of waves.
In the middle of it all, lost in a jungle of pattern and intermittent monster sightings is a recurrent character – Mel’s two dimensional alter-ego. These scenes could easily file into the ranks of legendary illustrators of children’s books. They could fit snugly in with Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things, the works of 20th century master illustrator Arthur Rackham – but somehow their appeal transcends into a maturity which allows her work to stand on its own, existing apart from any strict narrative context. It’s dreamy but built up on a firm philosophical framework: ‘the impossibility of being stuck on something that is in constant motion’. Transcendence is key here – transcendence of limits, of reality and the ropes of weariness which life winds around us. Kadel’s works appeal to our natural strength, which as she puts it ‘comes from our mind and the ability to keep moving forward’.
Like the waves of our seas and the currents of our rivers, these works convey us onwards until we land safely and soundly in Mel’s world. We will certainly be better off for having visited.
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Kadel is originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. After living in New York for a few years, she moved to Los Angeles where she now resides in a log cabin in a canyon above Echo Park with her partner, artist Travis Millard.
Kadel has had solo shows at galleries throughout the United States and abroad in London, Sydney, and Denmark. Her group shows have placed her with Shepard Fairey and other iconic artists of her generation. Her work has featured in publications including Juxtapoz, Monster Children, and LA Times Magazine. It has appeared in the form of magazine covers, event posters, swimsuit patterns, on LPs and on t-shirts.
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