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Fourteen shades of night

Night Vision’ at Gross McCleaf Gallery

2 minute read
Martenson's 'Tent Evening': Is darkness cozy, or terrifying?
Martenson's 'Tent Evening': Is darkness cozy, or terrifying?
"Night Vision" is a theme-oriented show featuring the work of 14 artists. As is sometimes the case with shows built around a theme, some artists interpret the subject more literally than others. Thus we get, on one hand, a work like Douglas Martenson's mysterious Edge of the Woods, Night and, on the other, a surreal jeu d'esprit like Alyssa Deville's Panoply.

Night, as a theme, can conjure up feelings of loneliness and dread, or it can impel us to seek out warmth and light. Thus, as a sort of pendant to his magisterial Edge of the Woods, Night, Martenson presents Tent Evening, a homey, almost theatrical vision of welcoming light.

Brian Kreydatus, with Summer Night, gives us an almost archetypal vision of a house with its kitchen and adjoining porch alight and welcoming. Larry Francis's Bar (Khyber Pass) offers its own vision of companionship and conviviality.

On the other hand, Celia Reisman's paired Lovebirds Night and Lovebirds Dusk plays up the magical moment when daylight gradually yields to evening.

The show's oddest— and most intriguing— work is Joseph Lozano's Black Bunny, in which the words "now," "then" and "again" are superimposed over a rabbit's head and upper torso. For some reason, the piece just caught my fancy.

I also enjoyed the visual humor of Alyssa Deville's two pieces, The Opera and Panoply.

The show's "window painting"— Ann Lofquist's Dawn, Conejo Grande, neatly sums up the show. It's a CinemaScope landscape of dawn breaking over a suburban community— a piece of visual reportage perhaps, but not without its magic.

What, When, Where

“Night Vision.†Through July 26, 2013 at Gross McCleaf Gallery, 127 South 16th St. (215) 665-8138 or www.grossmccleaf.com.

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