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Washington Post, Arts Section, January 2014
CertainCircuits Magazine - First Print Edition 2010, May 2011, October 2011
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From a Woman's Perspective, Catalog 2009
Juxtapositions, MICA Magazine, 2004
Emerging Artist Exhibition, NJ Gazette 1999
DomiCile Magazine, Online Fall 2014 (DomiCile Magazine)
D.C. galleries: ‘Form Transformed,’ ‘Kaddish and Narrative,’ ‘Play by Play’
By Mark Jenkins, Friday, January 24, 11:33 AM
The traditional idea of sculpture is of shapes chiseled out of — or, more poetically, discovered within — blocks of stone. There are a few modernist examples of that approach in “Form Transformed: Five Sculptors,” at Touchstone Gallery. In two of Michelle Frazier’s small pieces, human heads emerge from alabaster, a relatively soft mineral, and both she and Janathel Shaw fabricate heads in ceramic stoneware. But contemporary artists are more inclined to remix and remake than to craft a single image out of a single material, so it’s unsurprising that the other participants see sculpture as a sort of collage and allow found objects to partially dictate the finished entity.
In her “Vestige” series, Dana Brotman decorates dried Kentucky gourds with totemic designs that suggest African and American Indian folk art. The original shapes clearly influence the process, yet the results are diverse. One of the pieces turns a gourd into a reptilian head, with a long curved stem that neatly impersonates a tongue. The others, including one that hangs like an unbalanced pendulum, are more abstract.
But all show a willingness to collaborate with nature rather than attempt to command it.
Brotman’s work fits well with that of Janet Wheeler, whose “Vessels” incorporate bamboo, paper, feathers, bark and fiber from raffia palm trees. One of the artist’s pieces is in the vein of a previous Touchstone show, “Nests with a Twist”: It mounts a flurry of feathers, black with hints of brown, atop a bamboo and wooden-block staff that’s painted all black. If the feathers’ shimmering hues are that construction’s most striking attribute, some of Wheeler’s other new assemblages, colored with iridescent oil sticks, are as vivid as anything that might be found in a nest or garden.
Rosemary Luckett also employs found objects but to tell specific stories. “My Immigrant Grandmother” is an old-fashioned, hand-cranked washing machine, adorned with family names and multiple printings of the same photo of a woman (probably grandma). “Gun Gospel Guy” combines such artifacts as shell casings, plastic toy guns and a small American flag on which the artist has written statistics about firearms violence. It’s three-dimensional but less sculpture than editorial cartoon.
Form Transformed: Five Sculptors
On view through Feb. 2 at Touchstone Galley, 901 New York Ave. NW; 202-347-2787; www.touchstonegallery.com