In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Edith Newhall writes about Sharon Louden’s installation at Gallery Joe:
If you’ve seen Sharon Louden’s paintings and drawings, you’ve noticed how her transparent, pudgy, colored lines look as if they’re zipping and morphing across their all-white backgrounds like so many kids set loose on a playground, shifting from a simple stroke to a rectangle, or from a Z to an L to a chain-link of shapes. Clearly, Louden noticed that effect, too; over the last three years, she has been digitally animating scans of her drawings, the videos of which are being shown in Gallery Joe’s vault space. Now, her lines are, in fact, drawings in motion: swooping up into the air, falling like feathers, and landing kerplunk in piles like pickup sticks.
Each of Louden’s eight short DVDs enacts an abstract narrative that hews so perfectly to its title, you wonder at times if the title came first and set the stage for the procession of images that follows (not hard to imagine, since the word that forms the title morphs into the rest of the video). In ‘Hugs,’ her lines suggest an affection for each other; in ‘Heavy,’ the lines’ movement is slow and restrained. ‘The Bridge,’ the most ambitious of the group, is also being shown in Louden’s traveling exhibition, ‘Sharon Louden: Taking Turns,’ organized by the Birmingham Museum of Art and now at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, N.C. It begins with an image of an elemental landscape that gradually becomes a stage for all of Louden’s lines in all their variety. Those marks transform into a kind of floating confetti, and then into rectangles that suggest windows into space. Eventually the original landscape returns, like Dorothy to Kansas. Though Louden’s drawings for ‘The Bridge’ are here for viewing, arranged in neat piles on a pedestal, you assume that only she could navigate her leap from paper to the third and fourth dimensions.
“Sharon Louden: Animations,” Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA. Through June 27.
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