Equally bright, Marge Pacer's acrylic paintings A2 Pair offer airy sulfur-yellow flowerlike forms, resembling spaced-out Chinese calligraphy, that appear to grow from black ground under a fiery red sky. One of her jazzy kinked "weeds" sprouts a stylized lowercase A crowned by frenetic pollenlike bits. Despite knowing I couldn't afford it, I had to check the price of this work just in case. Sure enough rats.
A more controlled work, Robert Black's A2 Community Spirit, offers photographs of brick walls around town skillfully merged into one calico-patchwork wall, with each building's section subtly labeled with a related word or two. Curry-orange bricks bear the word "earle," buff bricks "kinko," chocolaty bricks "olga," and beige bricks with bulgy mortar "necto." "Old town," "old fire," "downtown home," and "hands on" float over their respective bits. The surprising diversity in color and texture of mundane bricks seems to symbolize the city's cultural variety.
In contrast, Alvey Jones's rural-themed Plot, Earth, & Realm: Ann Arbor Landscape Scenery (above left) presents only one tiny building amid an array of pastoral scenes bordering a farmland view with an inset sculpted tree. I savored the green spaces while ruefully reflecting that the work could also have been titled Countdown to Subdivisions. The exhibit is on display through August 4.
[Originally published in August, 2002.]