Merry pranksters

By GREG COOK  |  May 7, 2013

0510_roelle_top.jpg 
WIRED Roelle's 'How To Enjoy Lawn Care.'

C.W. Roelle is one of those artists who hit on one great thing and just keep slowly and steadily plugging away. In this Foster artist's case, it was bending miles of wire into precise 3D line drawings that float in the air. In his new show at AS220's Project Space (93 Mathewson St, Providence, through May 25), there's an old-timey feel to his realist rendering style and his subjects — a sailing ship, disheveled living rooms, a Victorian woman standing on a porch watering a plant, even a guy mowing the lawn. Roelle's pieces continue to be marvels, the bigger and more elaborate the better. It's not just the illusionism of his drawing, but the way the depth of his dioramas allows things to shift in space as you move around them, like holograms.

In AS220's Main Gallery (115 Empire St), Hannah Antalek shows splashy pink paintings about girlhood, from her own six-year-old princess birthday party to Girl Scouting to her high school cheerleader sister. Antalek's exuberant style recalls Kerry James Marshall in her mix of social realism with drips, layering, and other brushwork pyrotechnics. Some choices feel strange — like leaving parts of faces unpainted for a masklike effect — but mostly Antalek's moves are right on.

Also in the Main Gallery, Maria DiFranco offers pencil drawings on wood panels of a donkey running from a tornado and toward a windmill; a bull and lamb between high-tension wires and oil derricks; and a steer and wild dog between houses and a zeppelin. DiFranco's symbolism is muddy, but her vividly dark realist draftsmanship radiates an ominous mood.

Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , C.W. Roelle
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