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April 13, 1987 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-04-13

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The Michigan Daily -Monday, April 13, 1987-- Page9

Six mature artists grace the Rackham galleries

By Charles Oestreicher
Last Wednesday a B.F.A. show
for six degree candidates opened at
the Rackham Gallery of Art which
concentrated exclusively on the fine
arts, primarily painting, earthen -
Fie Arts '8
Degree Shows
wate and various forms of
priiitmaking. There are many ab -
stract and figure study pieces, but
thane are no design, illustration or
industrial arts pieces on display.
Thdse six female graduates are
"serious" artists, and their work is
much more than an exhibit of

technical virtuosity. Their creations
convey ideas as we are accustomed
to seeing in the work of the
masters; through line, tone, light
and color. The messages are very
subtle if they are there at all, but
overall the art in the show is
mature and confident, and never
loud or obvious.
In terms of subject matter,
Molly Blythe is one of the show's
more diverse artists. Landscapes,
still lifes, figure studies and more
all appear in her paintings. Her
unique way of using color to
simulate light aids her in creating
mood and establishing a sense of
place in each piece. "Apples and
Chair I" is a thoughtful comparison
and, contrasting between the natural
and man-made worlds, while her
"Self Portrait", with its eerie green
tone, is suggestive of a darker side
within the artist. The painting is

neither effacing nor complimentary,
and it is this quality of emotional
ambivalence with which Blythe's
paintings get across to the viewer.
Greta Dongvillo's work
resembles Blythe's in many
respects, although Dongvillo is
more of an experimentalist. In the
show, her modes of expression
range from painting to drawing to
printmaking, each medium
seemingly used with different intent
in mind. In general, the paintings
seem emotionally mixed, while the
drawings are light-hearted and the
prints very abstract. Dongvillo's
"Self Portrait" in charcoal is
indicative of her more buoyant side.
Laurel Prafke is represented in the
show by only seven pieces, all of
them untitled, and it is in that
context that her work takes on a
sense of humility. A bleak gray
tone overshadows a lot of the work,

all of it well composed and
containing both known and abstract
elements. Colors are able to
distinguish and separate themselves
yet at the same time work together.
Katherine Johnson's work in the
show differs greatly from that of her
colleagues in its completely
abstract nature. Her experimentation
with color, shape, depth and light
give her lithographs and collages
credibility and visual interest. Many
of her etchings and lithographs
resemble works by noted artists of
the past, particularly Max Ernst.
"Window Series: Morning through
Venetian Blinds" is a brilliant
collage experiment in colors and
how they can be played off one
another. Her "Color Phenomenon"
lithographs, though, are much
brighter, more trivial and less
successful.
Ingrid Butterer has a lot of

earthenware on display, much of it
very weathered looking. In her style
of execution, the work resembles
that done by the ancient Greeks,
Indian tribes and other civilizations.
Though the objects are bowls,
plates and other seemingly
functional items, they are meant as
art pieces. The decorations range
from the very serious to the
childlike; the most successful are
the small portraits, of both personal
friends and historical figures.
Annette Gates has a bolder style
of painting than the other women
in the show. Images are displayed
graphically, with clear expressions
on the figures. Gates is not afraid to
bring everything about her subject
out in the open, suggesting an
inner confidence in her own skill.
Light is handled well in her work,
particularly in a series of pastel
figure studies. Light is represented

in a variety of colors, as if the
spectrum had become visible to the
viewer.
This exhibit is the most
confident and thought provoking of
the degree shows which have been
presented so far. It blends subtley,
maturity and enthusiasm into pieces
which represent fine art in the truest
sense of the word. These works do
not cater to anyone but the artists
themselves; none of these women
is begging for attention or shouting
to be heard. This show represents
art for art's sake, which is art in its
most noble form. It is for that
reason that this show is
commendable and should be seen.
It is open until April 14 at the
Rackham Gallery of Art, Monday
through Saturday.
t

S

-

i

Records
Jo.n Hassell'
Power Spot
Steve Tibbets
Exploded View
ECM Records
In some ways these two new
ECM releases tread the same
ground. They are both what I call
New Traditional music. Distinct by
virtue of genuine substance from
typical New Age music, these
recordings actually explore the ways
.in which traditional musics can
coincide with the most modern
technologies. A certain sameness
could be attributed to both LPs, but
this is largely due to the sylistic
vision of the principles and never
approaches the tedious.
Jon Hassell is something of a
magician. he has one of the most
recognizable trumpet sounds that I
have ever heard. Only you don't
recognize it as a trumpet.' After
prcessingit is sort of a windlike
spectral whine. It is an eerie,
mournful wraith.
Power Spot is a collaboration
with folks like Brian Eno that.
weaves itself into a mystical suite
for organic rhythms and prepared

electronics. It is the rain forest in.
full bloom. With neon birds of
paradise. Hassell's sirensong trum -
pet dances elegantly throughout this
glorious garden of sound like a
perfume made tangible. Honest.
Steve Tibbets has been banging
away as a homegrown studio genius
for a long time. Several critically
acclaimed LPs featuring his guit -
aristics in some very eclectic
settings made their way out of his
basement studios before he was
signed to ECM. Exploded View
blends his outrageous, often searing
guitar voice, with Indian instru -
ments and AfroAsian chantings.
Lots of percussion on this LP, and
the vocal work is given more than
equal time. This is a rewarding
record. It is busier than the Hassell
effort and more accessible by virtue
of its relatively "normal" electric
guitar sounds.
Both of these LPs merit our,.
attention, and would make excellent
bookends to any New Age/New
Traditions record collection. Tibbets
for the adventurous guitar freak;
Hassell for the moonwatchers. Big
Fun.
-Marc S. Taras

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-5
Knowledge
To Go

Doily Photo by GRACE TSAI
Harmonizin'
Those fabulous Friars, an offspring of the Men's Glee Club, performed at Hill Auditorium Saturday
night.

A-

m

Behip!

Be cool!

Be groovy!

Join the Summer Daily Arts staff.
Be part of the happening crowd!
The Michigan Daily Arts page.

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more than just employment...
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s Art.,

The Age of Birds
Alan Feduccia
"This is exciting natural history,
handsomely illustrated"
-Newsweek
"Bird-watching on a cosmic
scale...A fine and important
book for general readers and
devoted nature buffs"
$12.95 - Roger Caras
Hands and Hearts
A History of Courtship
in America
Ellen K. Rothman
"No one can escape the appeal
of the revealing writings
[Rothman] has uncovered...
A real achievement."
-Carl Degler
Stanford University
"A fascinating and intimate
record of relationships between
the sexes."
$8.95 -Los Angeles Times
The X-Ray Universe
Wallace Tucker and
Riccardo Giacconi
"Scintillating."
- Times Higher
Education Supplement
"Every student of astronomyon
whatever level, should surely
read this book. And all scientists
would find it a fascinating sur-
vey of a new field."
$7.95 -Physics Today
Political Murder
From Tyrannicide to
Terrorism
Franklin L. Ford
"Touches all major bases.. .easy
to read... If not used for refer-
ence, it may appeal as bedside
reading for those who like a
good murder."
-New York Times
$9.95 Book Review
Incidents in the Life
of a Slave Girl
Written by Herself
Harriet A. Jacobs
Edited by
Lean Fagan Yellin
"This may be the most impor-
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woman, capturing as it does the
gross indignities as well as the
subtler social arrangements of
the time... [Jacobs]writes with
passion and insight."
$9.95 - Kirkus Reviews

Look for announcements for our upcoming mass meeting.

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