May 15, 2011

In The Arts: Drawings with a pulse and digital works that fascinate


(Continued from page 1)

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“Now I Know” by Noriko Sakanishi.

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“Slab,” by John Moore

Additional Photos Below


"FOUR IN MAINE: DRAWINGS," Mary Barnes, Emily Brown, T. Allen Lawson, John Moore

WHERE: Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum St., Rockland, 596-6457

HOURS: Through May 27 -- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday; after May 27 -- 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on First Friday.

CLOSES: Sept. 11


WHERE: June Fitzpatrick Gallery at High Street, 112 High St., Portland, 772-1951

HOURS: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday

CLOSES: June 4



WHERE: Addison Woolley Gallery, 132 Washington Ave., Portland, 450-8499

HOURS: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday

CLOSES: May 28

So deft is the pulse that you can almost anticipate its passage, much as can be done with passages in music. I don't want to make too much of the anticipatory notion, but when the elements of a work are so ineluctable to one another, the resulting harmonies make easy parallels to other arts.

These are wonderful drawings and in this show are accompanied by a group of smaller works similarly constructed, but confronted by bold and adversarial forms. Some adversaries tilt the axis of the plane, some remove segments from it and some overlay it with such force that portions are extinguished. Unlike the lyrical larger works, there is a tension in them that harkens to Sakanishi's well-known three-dimensional pieces. They have remarkable presence for work of their scale. 

I understand there has been talk about whether I would review the current show at Addison Woolley because it's not my thing. I have no idea what my thing is, but I wouldn't have missed this show for the world.

It's a two-part event, one is "Surreallegories: Three from 2010" by Darrell Taylor. The other is "Ephemeral Nature" by Fran Vita-Taylor.

Vita-Taylor's color digital prints are portentous. They speak as trophies of uncertain events to come. Gathered on black backgrounds, they are of leafs, vegetables, other bits of natural history such as milkweed, a mask and assortments that make reference to the writings of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Roman trophies are about what was; these are about what might happen. They are gorgeous and a little spooky.

Darrell Taylor's "Surreallegories" are offered as "very large-scale photocollage murals" and, at 24 inches by 106 inches they are that. Their size is not, however, the point. It's what's going on in them that makes them fascinating.

Borrowing from William Blake, one of the Van Eycks, Dorothea Lange, Diane Aubus, the rotunda of the Capitol, the Dubai Tower, industrial boilerplate, filth from the mind of Hitler, slave work in other places, congregations of cardinals, family photographs and uncountable other sources, some of which you pick up on and forget when you go on to the next source, they are witty, clever and philosophic.

In them, Taylor has put together a group of seamless digital works whose full contents are going to be beyond your power to extract, but whose fascination has no obvious limits. Surrealism may be making a comeback, this time a lot smarter.

Philip Isaacson of Lewiston has been writing about the arts for the Maine Sunday Telegram for 46 years. He can be contacted at:


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Additional Photos

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Detail from “The Transfiguration, Assumption and Apotheosis of High-End Luxury Consumables” by Darrell Taylor.


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