Wednesday, November 29, 2006
A short review about Maureen Gallace's solo exhibition at 303 Gallery. Walking into the gallery and working reception desk gives me the opportunity to study my everyday reaction to the paintings as well as catching the interaction between the works and the scraggling confused visitors/collectors. The exhibit consists of miniature barren landscape paintings of solitary rural houses enraptured by the power of nature's silence. Expressionistic strokes are short and composed, personal in touch and in depiction. The titles of each work seems to refer to a past memory, nostalogic and personal for the artist: "My Brother's House", "Last Summer". Even so, there is a hint of unwelcoming distance as the houses are painted in mute neutral colors and is void of human warmth. "Road to the beach" shows a single house without doors or windows with a sanded path narrowing to the background. Her wide thick brushstrokes does not interfere with the coolness and neutrality of the scene, as if the expressionistic-ness is stifled by the content. This ambivalence of home v. isolation, cold v. warm, human v. nature, freedom v. containment is resonant in all of her works leaving the viewer baffled at the impact received from a seemingly harmless objective painting.