NEW YORK TIMES, SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2005
'Food for Thought'
Islip Art Museum, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip,
In Elizabeth Crawford's two pickle still lifes, the carefully rendered elements take
floating collage overlays, anchored by a printed grid, to present different aspects of one subject. A simplified single face peeks
(631) 224-5402. Through Jan. 23.
Both figuratively and literally, as subject matter and as raw material, things edible preoccupy the 10 artists in this group show.
Tracy Miller paints what she calls "piles of guilty pleasure." Each canvas is a dieter's nightmare, packed with culinary abundance rendered in thick, creamy paint that mimics the texture of pudding, pastry and
Susan Zises' large-scale studies of fried eggs and oysters also glory in the sensuous quality of lush pigment, while making the abundant food seem strangely unappetizing. Contrast this caloric overload with K. Min's delicate, translucent pastels, like Proustian evocations of half-eaten sandwiches, doughnuts and other humble fare.
Substituting cupcakes for bricks and icing for mortar, Melissa Mudry builds tenuous little monuments to the ephemeral joys of tasty treats. Zhu Wei raises a single yam to iconic status in "Great Sweet Potato," an oversize portrait of the vegetable as an object of veneration. Like Wu Shaoxiang, whose sculptures of fruit are made of lattices of soldered coins, Mr. Zhu imagines' staple foods as commodities and as spiritual on humanoid overtones, suggesting body. parts even as they retain their vegetable character. A similar ambiguity, although in a very different guise, is present in Julie Allen's cake-shaped confections, which are actually made of deflated balloons. Her use of rubber to represent baked goods places the work squarely in the Surrealist tradition.
Maggie Doyle's candy-coated tree branches and melting picture frames cast in colored sugar explore similar terrain, as do Pamela Hadfield's chandelier, ladder and bicycle richly embellished in fondant, rock candy and rhinestones. Such transformations elevate ordinary objects to imaginary status and, like Meret Oppenheim's. furlined teacup, prompt disquieting sensations.
'30th Anniversary Exhibition'
Graphic Eye Gallery, 402 Main Street, Port Washington, (516) 883-9668. Through Jan. 30.
Founded in 1974 as a printmakers' cooperative, the gallery is now ashowcase for members working in various media. But prints and drawings are its primary focus.
In "Multiple Faces," Betty Gimbel uses coquettishly from behind a fan in Raisy Derzie's monotype "The Spanish Bride."
Gyrating clouds, hills and trees enliven Marion Klein's "Alder Plains Bog at Dawn," an expressionistic oil on paper that fairly jumps off the page. "Red Shore," a pastel by Anna Pellaton, is even more abstract, barely suggesting sky, sea and land glimpsed
der's collage "Seascape of the Mind" effectively uses striated curves to suggest flowing water and billowing clouds.
What at first appears to be an abstract pattern of crumpled paper and string coalesces into mounted figures in Roz Udow's collagraph "Samurai Horse." Similarly, one must tease the subject from Lenore Seroka's "Solstice," a dense encaustic painting etched with incisions, and Hannah Ritter's "Matrix," another waxed panel from which cryptic markings emerge enticingly.
José Luis Seligson focuses on the geometry of a footwear design in "Excellent Shoes," a manipulated photograph that bleaches out extraneous patterns. "Quantum States Il," a jazzy gouache by Mara Szalajda, uses strong color to syncopate its geometric structure.