In the primitives’ camp

Bockley Gallery assembles a group show around the work of Andrew Mazorol and Tynan Kerr.

Andrew Mazorol and Tynan Kerr's "Edge of Camp." Credit: Bockley Gallery

KENWOOD — The current exhibition at the Bockley Gallery, “Edge of Camp,” takes its name from a painting by Andrew Mazorol and Tynan Kerr, two young artists who work together in a flattened, purposely naïve style, signing finished pieces AMTK.

One reading of the title might suggest the two are sliding toward self-parody, but that doesn’t seem to be accurate. “Camp,” in this case, likely refers to an encampment — particularly the kind occupied by 19th century explorers pushing into the heart of Africa or the Australian Outback — and one can imagine Mazorol and Kerr lurking just beyond campfire light, out in the dark.

They recreate the stiff poses of that era’s photography. They revel in pattern making, inventing their own kind of quasi-tribal symbolism. Throw in some ’60s mysticism and it’s a heady brew.

In the context of the other artists assembled for this show by Todd Bockley, AMTK’s paintings seem to occupy a middle ground between Lauren Roche’s ravishing and macabre portraits and the heavily patterned drawings of Dietrich Sieling, whose work describes the intense sensory experience of a person with autism. Angelena Lukeroth is a counterpoint, working in a flattened, naïve style, but applying it to the subtle weirdness and small dramas of suburban family life.

The artists working in three dimensions, on the other hand, aren’t shy about their skills.

Jim Proctor’s installation, “Dystopian Thicket,” is nature armed against the apocalypse, its spines sharpened to a fine point. And Korla Luckeroth deftly uses forced perspective to give her ceramic sculptures of Minnesota homes and cabins a dizzying presence; they seem to grow outward into the room.

Lindsay Rhyner’s contributions were a real joy to see. Rhyner stitches together sculptural wall hangings from scraps of fabric and the best piece, “Whale,” was as cartoonishly fearsome as a Chinese dragon puppet and equally bedazzled with sequins. Two lamé whiskers drooped from its snout, one still bearing the Gucci tag.

“Edge of Camp” runs through Feb. 23 at Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St. 377-4669.