'Paper 2'

A thoughtfully hung show that draws one deep down a river of paper-based beauty

Arts Review

'Paper 2'

Gallery Shoal Creek, 2905 San Gabriel #101, 454-6671, www.galleryshoalcreek.com

Through Oct. 2

Arts Review

The work of a quintet of artists making marks on paper, making marks with paper, currently fills the halls of Gallery Shoal Creek. Five artists like the dissimilar fingers of a hand that

holds the key to creation within a world that river-raised papyrus spawned long ago.

Melissa Jay Craig's array of bookish objects that double as bright fungi, constructed from kozo fibers and colored as fancifully as fairy-tale toadstools, sprouts from the venue's vestibule walls, a three-dimensional, mycological greeting to this current exhibition. Leonard Lehrer spent many years creating the paintings, watercolors, and lithographs that he now dissects and repurposes, via digital technology, into complexly overlapping collages – represented here by a series of "Gardens" whose polychrome aquatic and piscine elements suggest a Japanese woodcut feel. Karen Kunc's prints are made from literal woodcuts, with pigments applied so meticulously to the blocks she's bladed to abstract shapes and patterns that the resultant images jar the eye with distinct and fully saturated colors.

Francesca Samsel works in an intaglio process called viscosity etching, creating prints that juxtapose textures and portions of natural objects and machinery, as if providing the catalog for two opposing styles of wunderkammer or attempting to prove through sheer graphic beauty that God is in the details. Catherine Dudley creates mixed-media collages, but the media she's mixing with were also created by her: Screenprints based on the vernacular of urban signage and architectural patterns are chopped and cropped, estranged and arranged on backgrounds of paper further embellished by handpainting and precise drawing.

These works of art are presented thoughtfully within the elegant Shoal Creek gallery – allowing enough space for viewers to enjoy each piece by itself, yet concurrently providing a fine flow, a faint current of visual pull to draw one deeper down this river of printed, paper-based beauty.

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'Paper 2', Gallery Shoal Creek, Melissa Jay Craig, Leonard Lehrer, Karen Kunc, Francesca Samsel, Catherine Dudley

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