Saturday, December 08, 2007

A tree grows in...

...Williamsburg! Alexandra Newmark shows a forest of twisted felt trees, stuffed forms head-high in white or red. Aah, punctuation. Gnarled branches with oval holes, channelling Izamu Noguchi (or Dr. Suess?) in spacial complexity if not in material. Mutant creatures hover among the "trunks": a cyan ostrich-like thing, pompoms at the end of its pipe-cleaner tail; a yellow oversize beret parked upside-down; a multi-teated quadriped with spiraled antlers. Uh, make that fallopian tubes.
One wants to hug these mohair beasts. My visitor of choice was a black critter, sporting three horns and four legs and a saucer-shaped body, squatting about 6" off the ground. Oddly, the press release states that the forms "can be frightening and alien." Well, yeah, if the wine is sour. (I guess the operative word is can. At least Newmark embraces the panopoly of interpretation, thereby allowing the work to exhibit a rich, interior life and avoiding shaggy, shedding dogma.) I found them comic, charming, fantastical. I was happy here.

Alexandra Newmark, "In the Forest" at Front Room Gallery
147 Roebling St.
Fri-Sun 1-6 & by appt.
through Dec. 16