Monday, January 21, 2008

Natasha Bowdoin, Alexander DeMaria

From my review of Natasha Bowdoin and Alexander DeMaria at Julie Chae:
Julie Chae Gallery, which opened on Harrison Avenue this fall, presents two promising artists who make dazzling low-relief constructions of cut paper. Bostonian Alexander DeMaria’s lacy paper filigrees are technically refined to an amazing degree, but his bad-ass skulls and peacock plumage motifs don’t hold me. Bostonian Natasha Bowdoin (who’s temporarily based in New Jersey) creates large cut-out wall pieces that often resemble fallen leaves swirling in the wind. One, "I Am the Sun in the Morning; I Am a Dog at Night" (2007), looks like an apparition of a Chinese dragon spinning out from the wall. The pieces are covered with words and phrases — “No one seems to know,” “girl,” “you and me in a seat,” “blue” — that read like overheard conversations or snatches of Internet chatter but don’t add up to much. Both artists have obvious talent, but they seem not to have found something substantial to yoke it to yet.
“Alexander DeMaria and Natasha Bowdoin: Myths and Fables,” Julie Chae Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, Dec. 15, 2007, to Jan. 26, 2008.

Pictured from top to bottom: Natasha Bowdoin, “Octopus Words,” 2007, with “Water Fable,” 2007; Alexander DeMaria, “Revealing the Monster,” 2007.