Ill wind

By GREG COOK  |  January 14, 2008

Julie Chae Gallery, which opened on Harrison Avenue this fall, presents two promising artists who make dazzling low-relief constructions of cut paper. Bostonian Alexander DeMaria’s lacy paper filigrees are technically refined to an amazing degree, but his bad-ass skulls and peacock plumage motifs don’t hold me. Bostonian Natasha Bowdoin (who’s temporarily based in New Jersey) creates large cut-out wall pieces that often resemble fallen leaves swirling in the wind. One, I Am the Sun in the Morning; I Am a Dog at Night (2007), looks like an apparition of a Chinese dragon spinning out from the wall. The pieces are covered with words and phrases — “No one seems to know,” “girl,” “you and me in a seat,” “blue” — that read like overheard conversations or snatches of Internet chatter but don’t add up to much. Both artists have obvious talent, but they seem not to have found something substantial to yoke it to yet.

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