At a simpler level, it's a pleasure to see large chunks of text arranged as signs that don't sell or direct anything. Like any of Herman's work, you might still parse out some fanciful narrative from these lists; like little of it, you might reduce them to a lovely thing to hang on a wall. Certainly both would be entertaining. But the stakes are raised here, and maybe that's a clue. The notes we write ourselves are us at our most vulnerable and honest, and if Herman can get us closer to that state — and imagine it in others — we might come closer to understanding and appreciating what exactly we're all doing here.

"FINISH LINES," clay on panel works by Adriane Herman | through Aug 10 | Rose Contemporary, 492 Congress St, Portland | 207.780.0700 | rosecontemporary.com

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