Great blurb on Howard Sherman's exhibit by Melissa Howsam

Over in the bustling Warehouse District, petulance posed in the limelight via Houston-based Howard Sherman's "Another Impatient Sucker," featuring abstract polychromatic large-scale paintings that uniquely fuse splashed, impulsive, explosive gestural marks with spray paint and hard, graphic lines a la '80s graffiti art. The series featured a mix of media — acrylic, collage and marker on archival paper; acrylic and marker on canvas; mixed media on canvas — and quite literally gave meaning to the term “magic” marker.

Most aptly, there is a childlike, youthful (albeit maybe at times angst-laden) quality to the art. It's volatile. It plays outside the lines. And it's not "pretty." But it's stunning. Artistically sophisticated. It makes you stop. It makes you watch. And if you didn't stop by Flanders on Friday night, you have until the end of the month to do so. And you should.

Still a "young" artist — Sherman made his first solo exhibit at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in 2008 — his take on abstract expressionism is sweeping the nation and beyond. Literally. He's been featured in the Museo de Arte Moderno in Peru; the Mad is Mad Gallery in Madrid; the Muse Gallery in India and across the U.S., and even in our backyard in Charlotte and Raleigh.

Sherman explains the attraction of colorful conflict.

"In my recent artwork, I have surged between abstraction and representation. More specifically, I have integrated biting comedy, social criticism and gestural expressiveness,” he said. “I have developed dualities in my paintings, exemplified by the grand gesture versus the small drawing; heated anger opposing light humor; heavy mass placed against barren emptiness; ferocious spontaneity clashing against careful thought. All of these elements add up to create a language of friction."

That friction is drawing a fervent fan base.

"Last night was one of the best First Fridays we have had since we moved to the warehouse district," Flanders Gallery Director Kelly McChesney said after the reception. "There was a vibrant crowd and genuine interest in the art. … There were serious collectors talking with artists about the work; other local artists coming to see the new exhibits; curators, academics, folks from Durham and Chapel Hill; and a healthy surge of young people. The night felt energetic and exciting, and we are so honored to be a part of it."