Category Archives: Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Julia Mangold – Untitled Drawings

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Julia Mangold, Untitled, pigment in wax on paper 18.5 x 14.5 inches, at Elizabeth Leach Gallery until May 31, 2014

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Julia Mangold’s drawings are beautiful, layered compositions created with pigment and wax on paper. Not surprisingly for an artist who is best known as a sculptor these drawings have a sculptural quality: they’re layered and they have a weight that belies their small scale. Some are utterly simple – just some bars of color on a white field that appears waxed – while others  use the same basic elements to build to more complex relationships of shape, color, and depth. As a large gathering the drawings look like a series of experiments with a restricted set of artistic ingredients. Perhaps they’re preliminary studies or perhaps they are ends in themselves. Regardless they reward close looking.

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Anna Von Mertens – Aurora

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Anna VonMertens, Aurora, hand-dyed cotton on wooden stretcher 54 x 100 inches, on view until May 31, 2014 at Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Aurora is vivid and saturated in color. But rather than being flat and graphic, the cotton surface gives it an interesting depth and vibrancy. It shimmers and floats or wobbles, like its namesake phenomenon. Taken together the show – Above, between and in – is pleasingly odd. The dyed cotton pieces are inspired variously by the aurora borealis, aura photography (which recalls medical imaging technology and images that register differences in temperature), and “patterns left behind from the artist’s nutritional juicing” (which look a bit like Helen Frankenthaler’s abstractions). The work feels like an experiment (and a successful one) in finding visual and conceptual inspiration in all sorts of places: the heavens, unseen energies, and waste.

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