"...the principle of collage is the central principle of all art in the 20th century." -- Donald Barthelme (1931-1989)

''l'art pour l'art.'' -- Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (1767–1830) also attributed to Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)

Reviews of Collage Exhibitions:

Gesine Ehlers: Multi Media Collages
Orange Hall Gallery, SUNY Orange, Middletown, NY.

Jan. 6 through February 13, 2009 Mon-Thur 9am-8pm Fri 9am-6pm.
Information: 845-341-4891

Gesine Ehlers -Another Happiness

Gesine Ehlers - Evening

Gesine Ehlers - Rivera

Gesine Ehlers - Night Light – Cape Cod


Gesine Ehlers: Multi-Media Collages
January 6 through February 13, 2009

The sixty small collages by Gesine Ehlers are well suited to the viewing circumstances of the Balcony Gallery in SUNY Orange’s Orange Hall in Middletown, NY where one cannot be more than six feet away from the works because of the balcony railing.

While based in the tradition of landscape painting, many of these expertly composed collages find their inspiration in metaphysical realms. Estuary and Cliff Dwellings are among the more representational works in the show. Night Light – Cape Cod appears to depict the dunes near Provincetown but moves towards the abstract. Healing clearly reveals its landscape roots but gives them sexual implications. Rivera celebrates both paisaje and the palette of the artist who inspired its title.

Most of Ms. Ehlers’ works depict three dimensional spaces but some abandon landscape and representational space in favor of plane surface design with finely finessed surfaces. Another Happiness contrasts areas of detail with enigmatic dark layered masses while Evening, which is supported by a wrapped object of indeterminate origin, combines the flat and the dimensional.

About 45 of the collages in this exhibition are, in the spirit of Schwitters, less than 5” x 7” image size and are framed under glass. Some of the larger works (16” x 20” or 18” x 24”) are unglazed and make use of crumpled paper and fabric to create three dimensional surfaces.

This show reveals Ms. Ehlers to be a skilled collagist. By artfully placing her collage fragments in new contexts, the artist succeeds in obscuring their origins, challenging the viewer to identify the sources of the materials. The resulting mysteries add interest to the works.

-JT 1.31.09


This page is located at www.collageart.org/reviews/ehlers.htm
Last Update: Feb 2009
For further information contact Jonathan Talbot at jonathan@talbot1.com