Insides at Northern-Southern

Insides at Northern-Southern is exactly what it claims to be: a “complementary pair of domestic dream-rooms”. Visiting feels like wandering through some make-believe royal’s boudoir and into their sanctuary, as if a section of palace or cathedral has materialized inter-dimensionally on East 12th Street. In the front, Jaime Zuverza’s paintings set the mood; giant vignettes on beefy canvasses that are as reminiscent of De Chirico as they are of Renaissance tapestries. They tell an enigmatic story, some tale of lava and blood and spooky symbolism. Transmountain’s sculptures somehow anchor the space in the real world while simultaneously spinning it further into the ether. Midnight Vanity and Suede Screen create the disconcerting feeling of being in someone else’s home, as if the three bears or the Jabberwock might arrive at any moment. As you travel toward the back of the gallery, the wall color changes from a stony gray to a pale yellow and Rachel Freeman’s meticulous drawings are mounted in a row, each behind Plexiglas, evoking a hall of windows or vitrines. The fusion of botany, geometry, and fantasy in her work further enhances the lucid-dream-like trip, but where before there was turbulence there is now an almost holy orderliness. Her sculpture Serpentine Vase, a symmetrical, tubular structure with plant-life on either end, serves as a sort of pagan altar in the center of the room. A triptych of shaped panels across from the “windows” furthers a sense of earthen religiosity. I remarked to gallery-owner and curator Phillip Niemeyer that what struck me most was the balance achieved between the two rooms, one dark and heavy, one light and airy—either would be a strong show on its own but together they become an experience. I would highly recommend pairing it with a screening of Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite at your closest Alamo. -RSM