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Nothing Common

Art New England, Dec/Jan 2003 


Sharon Arts Center
Peterborough, New Hampshire
Curator: Randall Hoel

By Craig Stockwell

This summer group show features the work of 10 artists who have “nothing (apparent) in common” other than that their work has been respected and enjoyed by Randall Hoel, the curator. For this reviewer, there are some common issues raised by this group, perhaps because of their wide range of interests. The issue raised is what makes for a sustainable artistic project as opposed to the ongoing production of more or less interesting art objects. Al Barker, Mallory Lake, David Lavoie, Alexander Farquharson and Francie Riggs have made very accomplished objects. These are works that seem to long for a “look,” a style. They do not seem to be involved in the research of getting “inside” of things. 

Five of the artists appear to have found a developable area of inquiry and have varied success in achieving compelling imagery to sustain their projects. Jessie Pollock’s research has taken a turn from her usually accomplished objects and produced ambitious work that, however, fails to cohere. Kathryn Frund’s work is elegantly thoughtful but maintains a sense of fussy objecthood rather than compelling research. Oscar Binder continues his passionate and committed search for meaning in his obsessive and ethereal paper work. Kate Giles extends her research into painting English coastal rain, and Pamela Lawson creates monoprints of goldfish that exemplify a committed visual project touched by a genuine sense of poetic insight.