Monday, December 24, 2007

Good on Paper at Fe

Considering its central location and longevity, the Fe Gallery may very well be the anchor of the Art Community on Butler Street. The current show, "Good on Paper" is an exhibit by ten regional, national and international artists; not limited to simply a show of drawings, the pieces here incorporate a variety of mediums, styles and techniques. One of the simplest offerings, in terms of materials and style, is Karin Bergdolt's "Power Lines." Executed in ballpoint pen on fifteen sheets of notebook paper arranged in a grid, Bergdolt shows us the huge man-made drawing in the sky. That intricate play of power lines is always there, changing with weather, wind, time of day and perspective. And so rarely do we even notice it.
Bergdolt, a Munich native, has established a Pittsburgh connection with her "Topology", a map of Lawrenceville gridded with hand-written notations and note card-size sketches of everyday life. Bergdolt continues her "tour of Pittsburgh" on First Night with the presentation of "Strollology" at 709 Penn Gallery.
Deanna Mance's "Teabag Series #1—5" is reminiscent of the cartographer's art as well. The small free-hand drawings are executed with a variety of media including ink, graphite, wood, teabags and transparencies and embody a love of the little things in life—intricate lines of often overlooked details. With their delicate lines and orange-sepia washes, the series evokes the visage of the map-makers engravings found in ancient books.
Also in the show are Craig Kirby's "Presciptions: Drugstore Memories" a brightly-colored array of faux labels offering remedies ranging from protective ointments to artificial tears. And the "Encyclopedia Destructica", an art-zine inspired collection harvested from sketchbooks and journals, has a display of some dozen issues. First published in 2007, the zine started as a concept in the mind of Chris Kardambikis and is available at local bookstores and coffee houses. Several stunning drawings by Ryan Roth comprise "Time Flies." The ink on vellum portraits with their mask/headdress overlays of animals, clocks and flashlights bring to mind the fantastic paintings of Arcimboldo.
Fe Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday, 12—4; "Good on Paper" continues through February 9, 2008.

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