Review

Mary Delahoyd Gallery
Exhibition: SANDRA PAYNE,
Vessels in the Boudoir
April 26 - June 2, 2001

Sandra Payne has transposed the very public exhibition space of the gallery into a private sphere— not by explicit, overt reference but through allusive matter. Pear-shaped forms of varied heights, girths, and tilts glint in clusters of various colored foils as they gather on the floor, silent female sentinels. Some sit on skirts of tonally similar sequined fabric; most squat on the bare ground. Light picks out certain areas and throws others into seductive shadow. That is all, that is everything.

What can be imagined can be as potent as what is there. The other senses are quickened, we hear, smell, taste, and feel what is there only inferentially by sight. Matter, presumed to be infinite and given particular meaning, is here released to provoke thought as diverse as the experiences each viewer brings to this place. The artist asks her audience both to trust her totally and to make its own way as the quotidian and exotic commingle.

Although the Western tradition has a strong presence here, its rebels like Matisse with his pure color release and sultry women, Monet under water, Ingres in the casbah, and Delacroix in Algeria are Payne's soulmates. Non-Western references are as geographically and culturally distinct as Persia, Japan, and Africa reverberate too. So do things outside of any high art history: the sounds of Aretha and Ella, the stories of Colette, the scent of Casa Blanca lilies, the discipline of flower arranging, the taste of sweet potato pie...

Payne uses specific matter-though unexpected art materials-to take us far beyond our familiar paths in order to explore the outer reaches of our conscious and unconscious experiences, only to find our way back home again. [ Back to About Sandra Payne » ]