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  •  REVIEW: JULIE EVANS: SWISH OF THE YAK TAIL FLY-WHISK

      Jaipur Painting #2 in Julie Evans: Swish of the Yak Tail Fly-Whisk
      Jaipur Painting #2
    Adorned with bindi

    Flavors of the East spice Julie Evans' colorful abstract paintings in "Swish of the Yak Tail Fly-Whisk" at Metaphor Gallery.

    By DEBORAH GARWOOD
    Offoffoff.com


    Julie Evans' work has been inspired by the painting traditions of India for several years now. An American who finished her artistic studies in Brooklyn during the early 1990s, she felt drawn to the multifaceted culture of India through its art. By the end of the decade, she had made a point of traveling to the country on two occasions to experience its sensory-rich daily life first hand.

    JULIE EVANS
    Exhibition: Swish of the Yak Tail Fly-Whisk.
    Works by: Julie Evans.
     SCHEDULE
    September 8 - October 10, 2004
    Opening reception: September 8, 2004, 6-9 p.m.

    Gallery: Metaphor
    382 Atlantic Avenue
    Brooklyn NY
    Phone: (718) 254-9126

      
    Many of the works in "Swish of the Yak Tail Fly-Whisk" were made during Evans's third trip to India on a Fulbright Fellowship. This time, she studied the Indian miniaturist painting style known as Mughal, which flourished from the 16th to 19th centuries. Evans was fortunate to meet with Ajay Sharma, a specialist in its history and techniques who lives in Jaipur. The two artists collaborated on four of the 30 or so works now on view. "Jaipur Painting #2" is an example of one of their collaborative paintings.

    Evans achieves intense, opaque color by mixing mineral pigments with gouache, a water based medium. Often keyed to saturated orange-red and contrasting tones of pale blue or deep green, her colors evoke a Bombay spice factory or verdant gardens made fragrant by unrelenting heat. The mineral-enriched color is extremely matte. It seems to lay as soft as pollen on the unusual surface Evans uses, a smooth clay-coated board mounted on wooden frames. She applies the same techniques, with similar effects, in works on paper also on view.

      Bindi Dharma #5 in Julie Evans: Swish of the Yak Tail Fly-Whisk
      Bindi Dharma #5
    The small sized paintings in this show require and reward attention. The closer you look, the more you see. Rectilinear geometrical bands at the perimeter give way to interior loops. Arrays of simple patterning, frequently painted with raised dots, hover over color washes. Her patient use of a fine haired oxtail brush can create the illusion of wood grain. A profusion of curvilinear shapes and circular forms gives her work a highly organic feeling. Circles often cluster within the picture plane like cells of fractal dimensions; those that bloom into the foreground usually have decorative scalloping like jewelry or textile prints. These round, mandala-like motifs are reminiscent of imagery in Hindu and Buddhist cosmologies. Evans alludes to their role in the adornment of the female body by accenting them with tiny bindi dot jewelry.


      
    Evans' colors evoke a Bombay spice factory or verdant gardens made fragrant by unrelenting heat.  

      
    Mughal paintings are rife with natural imagery. The Western side of Evans' influence is Modernist abstraction, which has deep roots in nature as well. New York artists absorbed Eastern influences in the '50s. There's plenty of Eastern influence in art being made by Western artists today, as an exhibition of Buddhist-inspired art called "The Invisible Thread" at Snug Harbor Cultural Center just last year revealed. In an increasingly global aesthetic dialogue, contemporary artists from countries in Asia and the Far East contend with powerful traditions from the inside to forge their own vision. Given Evans' development up to now, it will be interesting to see where she goes from here.

    SEPTEMBER 19, 2004
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Julie Evans: Swish of the Yak Tail Fly-Whisk:

  • [no subject]   from , Jan 21, 2005
  • Deborah Garwood   from Rene Lynch, Jul 27, 2005
  • Message from Kathryn Player- UK   from Kathryn Player, Oct 10, 2010

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