We love painters Aiyana Udesen and Matt Furie's collaborations, especially one in the new exhibit, "Tree Show IV." In it, a transparent man liberates some of his wolf friends from the curse of being a tree. It's like a canine reverse Daphne myth involving a beschlonged, smirking river god with microwave vision. (The handsome wolves look untamable and smug.) The image goes to the heart of tree power: Daphne was the Roman nymph who begged her river god father to turn her into a laurel tree so she could escape the embrace of Apollo (i.e., not be raped). The ancient story provides one more layer of arboreal meaning, hardly the only, hardly the last deforestation is another theme that pops up in several places. A lot of the other work in the 60-artist-strong show focuses on tree companions of real life and magic story alike: birds, especially our creepy friends the owls.
May 23-June 18, 2008