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Line up

Katy Fischer at Proof, ‘Paper Quilt’ and Rainey at the Essex Art Center, and ‘Ink & Steel’ at Space 242
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  June 24, 2008
Katy Fischer, Manora's Myriad Mind

“Katy Fischer” at Proof Gallery, the Distillery, 516 East Second Street, South Boston | June 28–August 23 | 508.963.9102

“Paper Quilt” and “Bunny Bollocks” at Essex Art Center, 56 Island St, Lawrence | June 27–August 14 | 978.685.2343

“Ink & Steel” at SPACE 242, 242 East Berkeley St, Boston | June 27–July 18 | 617.426.8942 x 225

KATY FISCHER’s fine lines — which she draws using gouache on paper in repeated, hypnotic patterns — create swirls of activity as they widen out to depict rivers flowing and clouds passing in landscapes that flutter and flicker with movement. The work is sometimes populated by mystical-looking characters and objects that add a metaphoric or narrative dimension. The Chicago-based artist has expressed her wish to create “a world that opens up wide and shines and glitters with infinite, lucid details.” The art itself points to the darker forces in nature, where clouds threaten rain and rivers carry people off. Fischer’s new works on paper are the subject of a show opening at Proof Gallery in South Boston on June 28.

Quilts are loaded with lofty metaphorical associations, even as they remain the most down-to-earth domestic items imaginable. They bring to mind warmth and shelter as well as the creativity and resourcefulness and also the repetitive nature of “women’s work.” Quilts addressed issues of feminism and identity in the 1980s in work by, among others, Miriam Schapiro and Faith Ringgold, and they provide a rich theme for “PAPER QUILT,” which, curated by participating artists Gayle Caruso and Cathy McLaurin, opens at the Essex Art Center on June 27. McLaurin says that the show “grew out of our own interest in working with paper and seeing what artists are doing with paper and also our interest in quilts and seeing what people would come up with if they were asked to make a paper quilt.” The results range from wall-hung pieces to sculpture to artists’ books to site-specific installations. The 17 artists — all women — take their inspiration from sources as diverse as obituaries and Post-It Notes; they include, in addition to Caruso and McLaurin, Ilona Anderson, Linda Price-Sneddon, Amy Ross, Lois Tarlow, and Sophie Truong.

Texas artist Rainey is interested in American culture during “The Dirty Thirties,” the time when the country was ravaged by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. In “BUNNY BOLLOCKS: NEW PAINTINGS BY RAINEY,” which also opens June 27 at the Essex Art Center, she refers to popular media’s efforts to raise collective spirits at the time through songs and cartoons, as well as to period details like the problem of controlling the jack-rabbit population.

The robotic population seems to be on the mind of Somerville-based artist Skunk, who creates metal sculptures hand-welded from recycled bicycle parts that look like a cross between C-3PO and Edward Scissorhands. Skunk’s new work will be on view — together with what have been billed as “three-dimensional illustrative paintings” by cartoonist and illustrator Ansis Purins — in “INK & STEEL,” which opens at the nascent Space 242 in Boston’s South End on June 27.

On the Web
Proof Gallery:
Essex Art Center:
SPACE 242:

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    Bauhaus photomontages at Harvard; “Life-o-rama” at Essex; “Beloved” at Kingston  
  • More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Essex Art Center , proof Gallery , Essex Art Center ,  More more >
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