We are so pleased to share the review by Shawn Hill of Mary Lang’s November show, Gazing into Space, in the current January/February 2015 issue of Art New England. Below is an excerpt from the article:
“In Lang’s work, we care about the land, but even more so the sky. In her vistas they are conscious actors, especially when clouds roll in like for or mist, obscuring solid surfaces. People are not an afterthought but they are small, dwarfed by the immensity of their environment.
Lang’s visit to Machu Picchu was definitely rewarding. In one image the Peruvian peaks dissolve, engulfed by cottony banks of fog, as if the vertiginous mountains weren’t completely real after all. The figures in the lower left corner climbing around cliff-like walls of ashlar seem to exist in a world of magical transformation, visiting lost horizons and hushed grandeur.
Closer to home, Lang finds that the lush natural settings of New England and California offer nurturing refuge. The scenes she chooses are maintained and landscaped, but in a way that human intrusions like fences and power lines become fragile and unimportant details, where wildflowers and old trees and swaying grass are left to develop in well-tended wilderness.
Even an image taken of an artificial setting (a landscape constructed for a model train in San Diego) fits in with Lang’s sandy, grassy hills. The scale and composition make the artificial hard to spot among the actual, but once seen, you question the reality of the other images. Another scene features a rectilinear tennis court surrounded by chain link fencing and lush vegetation. Though familiar, you sense Lang asks us to stop and consider what we’re really seeing.”
Image: Mary Lang, Clouds and Mountains, Machu Picchu, 2013, archival digital print, 20×30 inches.