new-york

Barbara Kassel

Maxwell Davidson Gallery

In this group of recent work drawing on images from Africa and the Middle East, Barbara Kassel revealed her talent for bringing together reality and fantasy into representations fairly brimming with symbolic meaning. She also demonstrated her knack for using the element of appearance as a vehicle of poetic expression. Kassel is a realist who seems to delight in the challenge of making each of her paintings like a complex mirror held up to life—a mirror capable of displaying the usually hidden relationships between the physical and spiritual worlds. Her tightly rendered forms have an intensity about them that is magical. Much the same can be said for her additive method of building compositions, which invariably involves the taking of certain liberties with time and space.

In The Border, 1988–89, a narrow, mostly bare room, its fourth wall removed, sits in the midst of a picturesque landscape.

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