My art gallery report focuses on work shown at the Gregory Kondos Gallery at the main _________________. I was lucky enough to bear witness to a number or empathic, simplistic pastoral and nature themed black and white woodcuts by Birdy Boyle. Each piece was held in a clear frame with a black border, placed on unassuming whitewashed walls and lit simply by white overhead bulbs.
The first woodcut I'd like to focus on is Boyle's "Untitled (child with cat in landscape)". It is nominally a barebones representation of a smiling, black-haired child (on the left) facing towards a cat (on the right) (with the cat's back towards the viewer) sitting on some wide shelf like structure filling in the bottom fourth of the woodcut as one black rectangle. A broad black curve filling in the top of the painting is meant to represent a distant hill topped by squat trees. And that is all there is to it.
There is an obvious economy to "Untitled (child with cat in landscape)". As with the rest of Boyle's pieces at the exhibit this woodcut is, as was previously mentioned, done entirely in black and white. In this way the image represented becomes highly stylized in that it begins to appear abstract, and almost allegorical the more closely it is scrutinized. Who is the child, why is it there and what relationship does it have with the cat? These answers are unanswerable. However, the child's expression is friendly and its right arm rests on the table with its hand towards the cat, which appears relaxed and attentive to the child, tail still but not stiff. This seems to imply that there is at the least not an antagonistic relationship between the two, even if perhaps they do no know each other well. The emotion evoked by the scene is one of playful curiosity. It seems as if a wordless exchange is being made.
I think the piece is excellently constructed and evocative. The artist has made intelligent use of broad swaths of black and negative spacing to establish...