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Treed 

Wednesday, May 28 2008
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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

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Hiya Swanhuyser

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