Sunday, October 26, 2014

Judy Pfaff. Loretta Howard and Pavel Zoubok Galleries Spectacular! Spectacular!

So I’m sitting here at my computer looking at the many photos I took the other day at the two-gallery exhibition of Judy Pfaff’s art and coming to the conclusion that this show, this work by this artist is extraordinary. It sprawls, hangs, and climbs in vivid colors incorporating lots of great materials like wax, paper, neon, wire, twigs and other stuff. These are for the most part big abstract sculptures that talk about nature and landscapes, the beauty and mystery of the thing. And like nature it’s always showing us new things that maybe at first you didn’t see, like when you take a walk in the woods with someone who is a nature lover, and they point out things to you just beneath the surfaces of the ground, a rotting log when turned over shows maybe large green patches of moss, or the tracks of a wee animal.
Primordial. The works just ooze and heave, and although not actually moving there is a sense of animation, of life before life, and yes while these works draw you in and cast a magical spell, there is also a feeling of discomfort (certainly on my part) in these installations of unnatural nature which of course appeals to my own feelings and work about nature. Many of the pieces also have a sci-fi look to them, pods looking like they are about to explode and turn me into something that I don’t want to be. Color, texture and the use of theatricality.
Installation art has the intrinsic characteristic of theatricality and Pfaff has an amazing sense of this along with her strong and lovely use of color and her ability to mix and usually not match many different textures that are smooth, crinkly, waxy and rough. These are extravagant and generous pieces. There are also walls covered in photographic images. What are these murals I thought, are they memory reminisces, bulletin boards from her heart? There are lots of photographs of peaceful images and parts of her works with framed drawings and collages placed on top of them here and there that engulf the viewer like a movie, while sculptures hang down in front of them, and a large tree like sculpture stands guard so watch your back. This big black gnarly thing is the most intrusive and threatening piece in the show. This superb gorgeous joint exhibition will be up until November 15.


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