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Sandi Seltzer Bryant
Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Houston, Texas
Recommendation by Donna Tennant

Sandi Seltzer Bryant, "Untitled 60," 2017, mixed media on paper, 30 x 22"

Continuing through February 17, 2018

Six years ago, Sandi Seltzer Bryant began a major transition in her work, moving from colorful abstract paintings to large collages incorporating layers of printed and textured papers. Bryant began collecting an array of distinctive papers that she encountered while traveling throughout Asia and Europe. These materials subsequently became the building blocks of her work, and the results are compelling. Some collages suggest figures, others still lifes, and many reference the landscape. For example, “Untitled 55” is a horizontal piece with a central shape suggesting a young girl in a skirt and bonnet running across the picture plane. Sheer paper embellished with leaf shapes can be interpreted as a strong wind pushing her into a forest of vertical stripes resembling tree trunks. Bryant does not title her pieces, preferring that viewers author their own interpretations. She also does not dictate top or bottom, encouraging her collectors to experiment in order to determine which orientation they prefer.

“Untitled 54” as exhibited is a vertical piece with strong patterns. Chocolate-brown polka-dots bump against a series of zigzag cutouts situated next to a fragment of blue seascape. Patches of beige, brown and black suggest a wall in an old house with layers of wallpaper, paint, sheet rock, and other materials having peeled away. “Untitled 57” is more ethereal, with grid-like patterns laid over blocks of sheer textured paper. In this piece, Bryant’s palette ranges from pale greens and creamy off-whites to pinks and mauves. Her work encourages free association, as the more one looks, the more one sees. Mountains, clouds, birds, rivers, and aerial earthly views are just a few of the impressions triggered by these collages. “Untitled 52” conjures Cezanne’s Mont Sainte-Victoire paintings, with their distinctive views of the mountain peak and expansive foothills. This is the artist’s 16th solo show since 1998, and her expressionist aesthetic continues to evolve. Although her materials have changed, Bryant’s pieces still reflect the energy and optimism with which she engages the world.

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