Kate Bright at Locks Gallery

Kate Bright
Between the Woods
Locks Gallery
May 2-30, 2008

Grove. 60x84". 2008
Grove. 60×84″. 2008

I have gotten into the nasty habit of popping in on really outstanding shows just a couple of days before they close. This is alright by me but particularly bad for you, dear reader, as you will no doubt be perusing this post as the minutes tick away from the time you have to see the paintings of Kate Bright at Locks Gallery. As it stands you have about a week which is more then I can say for those of you wishing to catch the delightful Jennifer Bartlett exhibition (read about it here), upstairs at Locks only until this Saturday Friday! when it will begin to be replaced by the no doubt just as exciting exhibition by Joy Feasley.

It’s not quite warm enough yet for Ms. Bright’s (her name is so apt I am tempted to think of it as a pseudonym or “stage name”) scenes of glittering snow falling on trees to be maddeningly escapist, but the silence of each image still tends to suck you in until you can almost hear your own footsteps breaking a fresh layer of snow in an isolated and enchanted forest. If the canvas wasn’t covered in glitter, the image would be downright scary, or perhaps it is even creepier because of it. They are each so subtly done, that I almost don’t want to think of the “cheapness” (here the word cheap has nothing to do with price because in reality this much glitter is expensive) of the material. I have never seen glitter so elevated and though comparisons to Karen Kilmnick have to come to mind (for the paintings are so very girly and glittery that you also think of unicorns and fairies and castles and ponies) I don’t know that I have ever been tempted to ever proclaim the use of glitter in Karen’s paintings “sublime”.


I was most drawn to a canvas entitled Grove in which a cleared path appears between the trees and turns left until it disappears from your line of sight. For some reason I remembered those paintings by Henri Magritte in which a canvas is placed in front of an opened window. Those paintings always scared me to death and I can’t quite come to grips with why I think of them in the same sentence as Kate Bright.