Shannon Cannings has a new body of work at the South Plains College Fine Arts Main Gallery in Levelland, Texas. The work in REGULATED/INFRINGED sits between four white corner walls, surrounded by the permanent collection set upon dark blue walls. The show greets you with a large grey-scale target painted directly on one of the white walls as you enter the gallery, with this text across the other wall at the entryway:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary
to the security of a free State
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed.
At first it seems Cannings is taking a more directly political approach in this series, quoting the Second Amendment and all. By confronting the viewer with this text before they can consider her drawings, prints, and zines on the other side of the wall, Cannings presents us with the tricky verbal acrobatics that dictate much of our political moment. Beyond this significant step, much of the work takes on different mediums and styles than her usual hyper-real, candy-gloss, large oil paintings of toy guns. All of the work in REGULATED/INFRINGED is small, unframed and without traditional accoutrement. While Cannings takes a risk by relying less on her prowess as a representational painter, the optics are still masterful.