Wednesday, January 31, 2007

highlights for children

From the new Times:
Several downtown Ithaca art spaces opened shows last week tied in to this year's Light in Winter Festival. (See the Jan. 10 issue of the IT for my review of the off-schedule, now closed "Joining Forces" at the State of the Art Gallery.)

At the CSMA, local members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators are showing samples of their "Natural Illuminations." I'll admit I entered the gallery space with a bias - the idea that proper scientific illustration requires sacrificing quirkiness and individual style for a dry, finicky accuracy. While I can't say that I was completely wrong, the best work here holds its own with any of the gallery art downtown. My favorites were Frances Fawcett's carbon dust renderings of Erotylid larvae (each drawing a different species). Made by applying graphite powder to paper with a dry brush, the drawings are impeccably smooth. The tubular, symmetrical, multi-segmented creatures bristle with numerous alien-looking appendages. Three ink drawings of bones by Christi Sobel combine crisp outlines and a spare use of stippling. Mastodon Humerus and Mastodon Vertabrae are quite abstract; they could be re-imagined as topographical maps of a strange desert landscape. Three etchings by Louisa Sandvik - two showing forest scenes and the other a half section of a pear - have a romantic light and texture that is appealing if incongruous.

Related Links: Light in Winter, "Exhibit at Upstairs Gallery", In Field, Sleight of Mind Five, GNSI Finger Lakes (workshop), Christi Sobel, "Questioning The Great Divide", Fernando Llosa, Rothko's Rock, Brody Parker Burroughs.

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