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Philippe Mohlitz
at Davidson Galleries, Seattle, Washington
Recommendation by Laura Macomber

Continuing through May 1, 2010

Philippe Mohlitz's engravings are finely wrought windows to out-of-reach worlds - arcane worlds, worlds in which the surreal is convincingly rendered so as to seem real. The detail of Mohlitz's work is exquisite. If his themes vary from the pleasant to the ominous, the quality of his seemingly infinite engraving lines does not.

Verdant and extraordinarily etched nature yields glimpses of a brightly lit window, and also a decrepit ship. Leafless trees, evocative of those of Casper David Friedrich, extend sharply into portentous clouds, puncturing the sky with a certain violence. The French artist's interiors are chaotic, cramped with archaic gothic-looking paraphernalia - skulls and vials, leather-bound books. The geometric architecture of his spaces is provocative. The largest engraving, "New York," encompasses his taste for minutiae and for the dreamily bizarre. It is an engraving of great breadth, juxtaposing a human heart and two land-locked ships within the framework of a railway station echoing neoclassical design. If the meaning behind these works remains insistently ambiguous, the artist's talent does not.

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