Writing Archive

Conny Goelz Schmitt: More Questions than Answers - Kingston Gallery

DigBoston, April 12, 2018 (read there)

At Kingston, Conny Goelz Schmitt is displaying abstractions made out of old books, built across the wall and away from it. She relies equally on collage, decollage, and assemblage. For those of us who are aficionados of both abstraction and used bookstores, the exhibition is catnip.

Behind the Scene (2017) is a boxy, irregular oval, five inches thick from the wall, with a rectilinear hub of cream paper, lightly foxed. It is in fact a color wheel, cycling through ROYGBIV as much as the old book cloth would allow, though the blue at the top spills outward, suggesting sky. The construction is sharp but humane. The treatment is hard-edge but the surfaces are redolent of times spent thoughtfully.

Getting the right vintage of material, or degrading the surfaces just so, can turn collage into a precious process. Goelz Schmitt checks that tendency with a fortitudinous formal vision. The used bookstore ambiance is there, but the freshness of good abstract composition predominates.

Word count: 161

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