The Artists "Review" Artists Project was launched on June 30, 2008. Below is a "review" of Heather Levy's work, Ode to Autumn, written by Matthew Ballou. Heather provided the second jpeg, an image of Transcendental Atonement, as well as a brief response to Matthew's "review."
Heather currently resides in Washington, D.C., and Matthew lives in Columbia, MO.
If you would like to participate in this project, please email me at jtkirkland [at] gmail [dot] com.
"Ode to Autumn" is a small painting created with various water-based media on a clayboard surface. The most dominant feature of the work is its complementary colors: red-oranges hover above a field of pale blue. This contrasting color dynamic creates a fairly balanced figure/ground composition within which a variety of details are, by turns, hidden or obvious. Interestingly, the saturated leaves and plant-like forms could just as readily be seen as coral or other underwater flora and fauna as the autumnal foliage beneath a swirling sky they are meant to depict. That sky, highlighted by white tracery and other vague imagery, also includes thinly-lined faces - eyes and mouths - one of which calls to mind the classic Francis Cugat illustration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." These hovering visages and indistinct shapes that morph in and out of recognizable imagery conjure up an attempt at Surrealist tropes while maintaining a naiveté and playfulness that keeps the work from seeming too affected. Certain elements - a stilted green figure in the center of the picture, the stylized facial features of the amorphous heads - feel less deftly worked than does the overall placement and movement of colors and forms. The work is a lilting pastoral of nondescript space and form but with some intriguing linear and chromatic elements. I would imagine that for the artist autumn must be a time of broad, clear skies, swirling, dense landscapes, and fragmentary memories. I can relate.
Not provided by the artist.