Bailis and Abercrombie on the road at Vox


Leah Bailis
Suitcase, by Leah Bailis

A last minute quickie on the shows at Vox Populi, which, two days ago, was still sitting on the fence about where the gallery will move, once it’s are forced out of the Gilbert Building in mid-January.

Leah Bailis
Cinder Blocks, by Leah Bailis

With all the stresses of the gallery having to move Leah Bailis’ exhibit The Architecture of Independent People, with its cardboard sculptures of absence and loss in life on the move seemed particularly apt. But it was her cardboard replicas of cinderblocks piled in a corner that stole my heart, partly because of its defiance of the grid that anchors the rest of her sculpture installation. From a distance I thought the cinderblocks were real. And up close, their craftsmanship blew me away.

Vis a vis craftsmanship, Bailis’ suitcase is noteworthy. And her piece Foundations, with string delineating a missing foundation in a grid of foundations gave me room for thought.

Kate Abercrombie
Route Messenger 7, by Kate Abercrombie, a landscape fantasy that borrows from Peacable Kingdom, Native American imagery, and Persian miniatures, gouache on 2×2-foot paper

Kate Abercrombie also seems to have thoughts of travel on her mind in her exhibit Route Messenger, mostly landscapes into which household items and miniature patterns infiltrate. Fringed bedspreads cover hilltops. Animal cutout shapes fill a tawny sky. A map of rowhouses looks like a placemat. And the only indoor view–of her studio, filled with landscapes and a rug shaped like a pond–seems like a salute to that other wonderful queen of gouache, Sarah McEneaney. Abercrombie’s are super and weird as they try to expand the safety of home life into the wild beyond.

Kate Abercrombie
Route Mesenger 4, gouache on 2×2-foot panel

Also showing, surreal video from new member Brent Wahl that Roberta and I enjoyed at the Penn MFA show (or at least something quite similar). And John Lorenzini continues his shots in front of curtains, this time veering into conventional soft porn fantasies. The empty bed shot held my attention.

The lights in the back room weren’t working so maybe I’ll see it in December (that fourth room gets held over for two months).


brent wahl, kate abercrombie, leah bailis, vox populi gallery



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