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Polly Barton/Alison Keogh
William Siegal Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Iris McLister


Polly Barton, ''Glistening,'' 2013

 

Continuing through July 6, 2013

 

The work of artists Polly Barton and Alison Keogh is showcased in "Sutra," a show that takes its title from a Sanskrit word for “a thread or line that holds things together.” It typically refers to a collection of sacred texts. Meditation, intention, and repetition are interwoven guiding principles in both artists’ practices, making "Sutra" a fitting title for restrained and thoughtful artwork.

 

Barton creates finely woven, silk-threaded textiles that subtly shimmer depending on the viewer’s location. Modestly sized, her current series of pale blue and sea-green pieces are iridescent and soft-hued, making them texturally intriguing foils to Keogh’s more pared-down work. Standing before "Glistening" is akin to looking onto a softly rippling sea, the glittering reflection of the moon or sun spread out across the waves.

 

Keogh’s past as a trained architect manifests itself in her deliberately executed layouts of color and pattern. Streamlined and starkly minimal, a slick glaze covers the gently uneven surfaces of Keogh’s marble dust on wood panel sculptures. Her black and white ink drawings line the gallery walls. Densely abstracted, they are reminiscent of old daguerreotypes — fuzzy and slightly ominous. These pieces come from Keogh’s “60,000 Positive Thoughts” series, in which the artist aspired to think positive thoughts and affirmations with every stroke of her brush. Keogh’s stated aim is to “awaken in the viewer an awareness of another dimension, a peaceful and calming presence.” To this end, it is a pairing that succeeds seamlessly.


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