February 26, 2012

Art review: The drawings of Avy Claire


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"Scroll-February," ink on Mylar, 2007

Images courtesy of June Fitzpatrick Gallery

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"11.12.55," ink on Mylar, 2011

Additional Photos Below


WHERE: June Fitzpatrick Gallery, 522 Congress Street, Portland

WHEN: Through March 10

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


INFO: 699-5083; junefitzpatrickgallery.com

In Freudian terms, you could say Claire's new works are like abstract versions of the "talking cure." In fact, her dozens of tiny "Point and Line to Plane" drawings hint at psychoanalytic logic: Tiny marks on their own mean nothing, but together, they form lines, patterns and clusters, and from there, spatial plateaus.

Context, in other words, is everything. This is where Claire's work leans back toward the philosophical. Time, after all, is only the marker of difference. Letters only get meanings as words. Words get meanings in sentences -- and so on.

A dot means nothing. But a dot a day becomes a calendar. Scribbles in columns become stand-ins for texts; they deliver the very notion of narrative in abstract drawing.

I particularly like "12.01.12." in which Claire sews two sheets of her elegant scrawl together with red thread (not by chance the stuff of books). In this work, we see the artist's hand, the narrative as thread, the marks as labor, the flow of time, the cross-pollination of ideas/texts and so much more.

I think Claire's work is too elusive for the typical art viewer to comfortably enjoy. But if liminal conceptualism or process-oriented drawing is your cup of tea, you could well find her heady brew deliciously sophisticated.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be reached at:


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Additional Photos

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"12.01.14," ink on Mylar, 2012


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