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"Matchbox Show": Group Show 

Wednesday, Dec 16 2009

The matchbox is a slightly archaic item these days, which makes it a resonant subject for art. At "Matchbox Show," 50 artists reinterpret 500 matchboxes and their contents as sculptures, paintings, and the subjects of photographs. The styles range from quirky to conceptual. Jan Evenson consumes her matches in fire, the conflagration photographed against some very tender-looking garden plants for shocking juxtaposition. Lisa Mendelson's wall sculpture evokes the matchbox's domestic role through the careful placement of elements like a button, part of a pencil, and a checkered red pattern. Matt Cella, whose art often involves pixelation, turns his matches into perfect little graphic data points. There's a wide hit-and-miss factor here, but the overall effect is one of cleverness. Matches, it turns out, enkindle all kinds of creativity.

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Traci Vogel


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