Good things come in small packages

Eyedrum examines All Small things

Eyedrum began the year with a sculpture show about big, as in scale and scope, called Breadth. Now, the alternative spot hosts a show devoted to the diminutive, All Small. There is something in the rigid requirements set by the All Small curators (Lisa Alembik, Rachael Buffington and Richard Gess) — all work had to be no bigger than six inches or no longer than 60 seconds in duration — that results in a surprisingly cohesive, very appealing show. A shocking number of the 40 participating artists come up with memorable works that deal with the shared themes of personal worlds, intimate snapshots and whimsy. Small is a physical concept in the show, but it is also a psychological one with "small" interpreted as intimate, familiar and close to home.

One of the show's best aspects is the decision to mix in artists from other areas like Brooklyn, Chicago, Tucson and Indiana, alongside a sampling of some of Atlanta's usual and not-so-usual suspects. As always, smaller could have been better had the truly exceptional work been spotlighted in a more finely honed show.

What stands out in a show with too many good works to detail? Will Eccleston's nasty little "Gimme" machine that envisions a large-scale gesture in the most pathetically mini terms. Kevin Jones' form-meets-function video of an ice cube melting then "re-freezing" is one of the many assertions of the ephemeral aspects of life in the show. Deb Steckler's paintings on paint chips are a great acknowledgement of the desire to buy a lifestyle along with a color, or at the very least, the strong associations color can convey. Brooklyn artist Mamie Tinkler's awesome live nude girls are oddly sweet, rueful Yuskavage-esque figurines so purposefully touchable you want to palm their fragile, naked bodies. Trayce Marino's shrewd use of the maddeningly amorphous mini-philosophies of fortune cookies are accompanied by equally hazy, obfuscating photographs of derelict buildings and non-spaces, as if to anti-illustrate the fortunes. And Indiana artist Jody Boyer's flip books are marvelous translations of what it feels like to remember — like holding water in your hands. The work is lovely, sad and imaginatively executed.

All Small runs through July 20 at Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, 290 Martin Luther King Drive, Suite 8. Wed., Fri. and Sat. noon-5 p.m. Artists' talks will be held July 10 at 8 p.m. 404-522-0655. eyedrum.memoryflux.com.??

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