EN­DERS’ ART BRINGS NEW YORK AT­TI­TUDE TO LY­MAN AL­LYN

The Day - Sound & Country - - A Cretaceous Christmas -

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

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