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Works Explore Dimensions

The Columbus Dispatch, June, 21, 1998

The Columbus Dispatch
Sunday, May 31, 1998
Works Explore Dimensions
Evans' Sculptures, Fibers By Fowler Push The Abstract
By Jacqueline Hall
Dispatch Art Critic

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Gallery V is presenting the latest fiber work of Linda Fowler and introducing to Columbus the sculpture of John Evans.

Evans is a native Ohioan who graduated from Ohio University, where he studied under the internationally recognized David Hostetler. Despite the influence Hostetler may have had on his work, Evans's sculpture eludes identifiable figuration and remains determinately abstract. Much of his work plays on endless variation of the square, which occasionally flirt with representational forms.

Evans' favorite medium is wood, which he carves to bring out the richness of the grain. Sometimes he lets the piece of wood lead the inspiration; at other times he looks for a piece that answers a specific idea. Then, some of the carved pieces are cast in bronze - but the wood is always the starting point. Script L [pictured], which was first created in bronze is the exception.

The bronze Script L and Flying V [pictured] are part of what Evans hopes will become a whole series of forms baesd on the letters of the alphabet. Script L is visibly based on a manipulation of the square, while Flying V is far more autonomic - but both pieces are remarkably dynamic.

Dynamism also is one of the main characteristics of the sculptures in wood. Man and Woman [pictured] consist of two undulating vertical forms that play a point-counterpoint game, and vaguely allude to human figures. The forms impart an irrepressible, sensuous feeling of motion.

Birth to Death [pictured], on the other hand, is a more contemplative piece. Although the curved form leads the eye from a smoothly polished point to the rough indentations of obvious decay at the other end, that visual movement prompts reflections rather than sensation. Yet, the rich, smooth finish of the rounded form demands to be touched, which is not true for the painted surface of Man and Woman.

Wether wood or bronze, Evans' sculptures have superb visual appeal. They play in space and with space with an exquisite sense of positive and negitive volumes, which gives them authority.

Fowler's fiber art is well-known to Columbus collectors and enthusiasts - strongly colorful, visually and emotionally stimulating. Her latest work does not disappoint, yet it is in many way quite different for her.

Fowler now works in more somber palettes, which she attributes to her discovery of the former East German state of Saxony and the results of 40 years of unchecked pollution on the landscape and the cities. She also is moving toward a more abstract imagery in her large pieces, such as Flumen Lumens and Flumen Vitae. Finally, she is experimenting with the three-dimensional.

During a visit to Rome, Fowler discovered marble - columns, floors and walls. She explained; "I wanted to create something which ad the same quality."

In Columnes Vesperae and Columnes Vernalis, she translated the effects of light changing on the marble columns of the Forum, usingn columnar surfaces of layered colors in mottled patterns.

The four columns of Columnes Verserae progress form the fiery red of a setting sun to pale orange pink with purplish streaks in a convincing suggestion of an evening sky and its effects on reflective surfaces.

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