Tony Cox’s piece, shield-like and fabricated in fine needlepoint with blonde fringe cascading from the canvas, references the totemic. Melissa Dadourian’s fabric, paper and ceramic geometries are both architectural intrusions and screens, hiding and revealing a boundaried femininity. Amanda Browder’sinstallationis a literal manifestation of the body, a kaleidoscopic quilted mouth with fangs and adorned throne-chair while Liz Collins’s woven wall paintings drape the gallery in a flowing attire of electric hues.
If Tony’s work is totemic and Melissa’s a gendered architecture, Meg Lipke’s stuffed silk cushion-painting,soft and seductively human, is a meaty Venus casually hanging off the gallery wall in gorgeous yellow and orange hues, it’s creatural character provocative, powerful and protective.
Other works in the show formally defined as drawings, paintings and sculptures also project abstractions of embodiment. The brush marks in Agnes Barley’s textural paint strokes elicit a pause; the soprano holds a note, a wave curls and crashes, or more directly, a narrative emerges of the artist slowly dragging her brush across the paper. Michael Scott’s psychedelic circle paintings speak to our sense of sight, how color and form can affect our physical being. And in Katie Merz’s animated lines, the artist’s spirit is firmly reified on the paper in her curling configurations without end.
A humorous take on our mortal appendages, Beth Humphrey’s collages suggest extra thumbs, odd-shaped toes, a neon pink appendix. In a romantic mise en scène, Diane Dwyer’s airy brush strokes and diagonal lines are parts and pieces; hair blowing in the breeze, elbows and knees, a languid wave, while Amy Talluto’s graceful composites are a landscape of anatomy, all sinew and bone. Finally, in Leah Tacha’s mystical sculptures I see myself in caricature, decorated and dressed, ready for battle.
We are all bound, frequently enamored, by our attachment to the corporeal, whether our own bodies or those of our loves. What these artists bequeath to us in their works is the tactile materiality of that attachment in glorious form.