ENDERS’ ART BRINGS NEW YORK ATTITUDE TO LYMAN ALLYN
AAs your winter progresses into spring, it’s a great time to celebrate new beginnings. An exhibit opening March 7 at Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London will help you enter that mode. “Elizabeth Enders: Landscape/ Language/Line” is the first retrospective of the work of New York artist Elizabeth Enders. Curated by Charlotta Kotik, curator emerita of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum, this exhibition will feature four decades of Enders’ paintings and drawings from the 1970s through today.
Enders’ art is very much about communicating a message – about the spirit of the place, about the beauty of flora that is celebrated in a sublime series of botanical drawings, but also about the silence and isolation that can be a painful part of the human experience. To overcome this isolation, to establish a potential discourse with others, Enders began marking the sheets of paper or a canvas with mysterious marks and fictional alphabets. Each person’s propensity to view these works as visual statements and to “read” them depends on the individual’s experiences and temperament.
In the extensive series of “Written Paintings,” Enders addresses her public directly. The ability to elevate the commonplace into the realm of art is nowhere more evident. The ordinary becomes extraordinary in the endless repetition of simple words such as “Lunch, Breakfast and Dinner” in paintings and drawings that were created after 9/11. At the time the artist’s studio was in downtown Manhattan and according to Enders, “the obsessive repeated writing of very common words became a kind of personal ther- apy.”
Lyrical and meditative, her work heightens our curiosity about the world around us, encouraging us to penetrate deeper into the often-concealed magic of our everyday experience. The power of Enders’ artistic persuasion heightens our perceptions, enabling us to participate in the wonder of discovery.
The exhibit is on display until Aug. 23.
ABOVE, FAST FOOD/BANANAS, 2002, WATERCOLOR ON PAPER, 11 1/2 X 9 1/4 INCHES. LEFT, NOVA SCOTIA V, 2005, WATERCOLOR ON PAPER, 12 3/16 X 16 3/16 INCHES.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LYMAN ALLYN ART MUSEUM