Review: 'Change is Nature' at Gallery 924


3.5 stars

Gallery 924; through March 25.

There's a deliberate aspect to

Minda Douglas' mixed media drawings. And, there is strength in this

deliberation, but perhaps also a limitation here, too. First, the

strengths. In the title drawing "Change is Nature," you see her vision of the

natural world transformed by the prism of her own mind. You can see dexterity

and precision in her depiction of all sorts of living plants and their parts;

spores, stalks, flowers, and seeds and you see a number of these in this

drawing in a sort of vortex swirling around a central point. And the point here

is that nature "is constantly in flux," to quote the artist herself from the

sheet providing explanations of her work. Perhaps it's a mistake for the artist

to define the meaning of her work so bluntly.

Speaking of which, one of her drawings

even bears a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "People see only what they are

prepared to see." Douglas perhaps takes this quote too much to heart, and it

seems like she wants to prepare you for what she thinks you should see in her

work. You might yearn to see her stretch beyond her own deliberate nature —

with her formidable skill — to achieve an art that resists any kind of

explanation at all.


Dan Grossman is NUVO's arts editor.

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