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Stas Orlovski
Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley, California
Recommendation by DeWitt Cheng


Stas Orlovski, ''Head with Bird,'' 2013, ink and collage on paper, 15 x 11''.

 

Continuing through November 2, 2013

 

Collage's absurd juxtapositions can reveal the irrationality of consensus reality. It can also be used less subversively, to create poetic new universes, however; the Surrealist Joseph Cornell was a master of this, as is the latter day Los Angeles artist, Stas Orlovski. His subtle, minimalist mixed-media works, combining a number of trademark motifs — starry skies, rippling waves, smoke, clouds, celestial bodies, light rays, curtains, foliage, birds, and featureless human heads — conjure up a similar enigmatic enchantment: bittersweet, quaint, melancholy and picturesque, to use the artist’s own words. Synthesizing motifs drawn from various cultures and times, Orlovski creates — with charcoal, collage, crayon, monoprint, image transfer and collage — a magically harmonious Peaceable Kingdom.

 

"Wildflower," the title of Orlovski’s current show, reprises a number of his familiar themes ("Moonbird with Curtains," "Moon and Stars II," "Head with Bird," "Curtain with Songbird"), and introduces some new ones. Stylized women’s heads sport waterfall tresses  reminiscent of Léger’s monumental Jazz Age beauties ("Women with Birds," "Woman with Flower"). Silhouetted trios of female figures ("Collapsing Figures," "Figures with Rainstorm") are standing odalisques in classic come-hither Betty Boop poses that here serve as vehicles for symbolizing natural processes and cycles rather than making whoopie. Don’t miss the new 26-minute video projection onto a wall-mounted drawing/collage, "Wildflower." It's non-narrative, but hypnotically watchable.


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