Danger Beauty Goo

We have a mild obsession with the word "encaustic." It makes us think of chewed gum, toxic chemicals, and stinging snot. We have active imaginations. But so does Sono Osato, who uses encaustic — a thicker, rubberier version of paint, sort of — in her paintings. She also uses asphalt on her canvases — is it a painting if it has roadway on it? There’s no asphalt at her new show, "Babylon: The Buried Language Series," but there is plenty of her other signature sculptural element: weird metal crap. Especially typewriter parts, which are incisive when you're thinking about lost languages and hoping to use sticky tentacle goop to maybe recapture parts of them. In the large-scale pieces here, little rusty hieroglyphs peer through no another and through sheets of opaque and often alarmingly colored frozen drips. Like language.
March 5-May 2, 2009

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