The Jane Rosen installation at Friesen Gallery includes "Oh Deer" (2005), a wall-mounted effigy of a deer without legs, and "Feet Herd" (2006), free-standing animal hooves.

 

Seattle Times review
By Matthew Kangas
Special to The Seattle Times


This month's exhibitions at Friesen Gallery are timed to coincide with tonight's annual Pilchuck Glass School auction. Local glass fans and out-of-town collectors can judge the work of Jane Rosen and the health of the Stanwood school's 16-year-old emerging artists-in-residence program (EAiR). Rosen's show is strong; this year's EAiR is possibly the worst ever.

Some of Rosen's artworks are made of glass but most are mixed-media sculptures, paintings and drawings that evoke a lost or endangered world of nature and a fragmented, battered environment involving animal parts, bird wings and animal hooves.

With an echo of glass artist William Morris, Rosen (who recently retired from the University of California, Berkeley) is more muted and subtle. Her small painted-plaster plaques are homages to quail, deer and Chinese landscapes. They join larger watercolors like "Anatomy of a Horse" (2005), "Amber (Iris)" (2006) and "Birdseed" (2006), soft-focus nature studies of delicate and pale colors. The latter, especially, is indebted to Morris Graves with its faded-rice-paper appearance and filmy green background.

Rosen's sculptures seem stronger statements. "Marble Wing" (2006) is a carved wing shape that confounds our expectations of soft feathers, here executed in hard Portuguese marble. "Oh Deer" (2005) is a wall-mounted effigy of a deer without legs, smothered in a marble-dust paste. Even more satisfying, "Feet Herd" (2006) is six free-standing animal hooves averaging 7 feet high. They are echoes of a beautiful drawing hanging nearby, "Feet First" (2005).

Best of all, six cast-glass bear and seal or sea-lion heads each juts out from the wall with considerable mystery and power. Done during Rosen's own Pilchuck residency, they prove once again how important it is for artists working in other materials to come to Pilchuck and try out glass. For Rosen, 56, the results are quietly spectacular.

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This article first appeared in The Seattle Times on October 13, 2006




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