Lisa Radon reviews Carrie Iverson's Correspondence (art ltd.)

Carrie Iverson, Correspondence, 2011
kilnformed glass, slate 21" x 35.5" x .325"installed


The "text" in Carrie Iverson's Correspondence, part of the exhibition of the same name at Bullseye Gallery, exists just beyond the realm of the recognizable, giving the viewer that uncomfortable feeling of having something frustratingly out of one's mental reach, on the tip of one's tongue, or just beyond the field of visual focus. Traces of horizontal lines that mimic the form lines of text on a page are superimposed over the shadow of a curved form on a slab of white kiln-formed glass. Beside it are hung two horizontal slabs of slate, on which are inscribed in chalk traces of images, and possibly geometric forms or diagrams. But this isn't a view to the possible--this and the other installations in this elegant exhibition serve as elegy for loss of language (as a function of memory). This is personal: we are told in the artist's statement that the work here is in response to her father's loss of memory. But it's also universal.


"Correspondence" is an arresting body of installation works, artist books, and objects in glass and paper that come at this loss of language from every angle, including examples of vague but recognizable representations of ghostly text-like image and object or its trace as stand-in for lost word (or lost image that the lost words might have called to mind). In Metaphysics (all cited works are 2011), milk-white casts of small pieces of wood (gifts from the artist's father) are arrayed on the wall with their graphite-coated originals as "shadows," as word might be considered a shadow of the thing or idea it represents or corresponds to; while in Residual, fragments of handmade paper, footprints of objects left behind when the paper pulp around them has been washed away, create a curious calligraphy. The line engraved like a horizon or seismograph across the center of the two clear glass tablets of Resonance suggest both the spidery handwriting of one who can no longer recall how to form letters and words or the feathery voice print of a voice producing uhs and ahs, while searching for the right word, or for any words at all. As aesthetically resolved in their quiet ways as they are content- and concept-rich, the works of Iverson's "Correspondence" are in fact deeply and broadly resonant.

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January 10, 2012