PRINT May 1991


To gaze at the river made of time and water

And recall that time itself is another river. . . .

—Jorge Luis Borges, “Arte Poética

IN DEBORAH OROPALLO’S PAINTINGS, as in the flowing current of Borges’ river, there are many different kinds of time: the hours of making work and the years of acquiring skill, the solitary imagined time of remembrance and the shared time of history. Through an adroit manipulation of a repertoire of mnemonic devices, she conducts the pace of our reading of these temporal themes as we navigate a river of narrative. It flows, like time, from the past into the future, revealing the lessons of history as resonant in contemporary life and experience.

Combining some kind of text with these images meant to make us remember, Oropallo invokes 500 years of art history in order to talk about the present. Under discussion here, in the odd codes signaled through the smoky

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