19 Sep 2017

Phyllis Berman and Anne Lilly: Stillness

Room 83 Spring

Reviewed by David Curcio

Phyllis Berman and Anne Lilly take polar-opposite approaches in their exhibition at Room 83 Spring, yet their dual showing is surprisingly fluid in its move from one artist to the next. Contrast Berman's quasi-trompe l'oeils of pendulous plumb bobs to Lilly's sometimes mind-bending kinetic sculpture and you might expect a vibe of two shows shoved together. But no, the transformation is fluid, mercurial, and bizarrely unsettling.

Both artists share an affinity for movement and stillness and the dynamic that they create. A nudge to Lilly's Lacemaker sends the piece into rotation. Rods of steel seemingly wrap around each other, portending a collision that never happens and never will, yet one seems ever imminent.

Berman's polished oils carry the tension of stillness. The more time spent with them, the more nerve-wracking they become. One sneeze may snap the painted wire and the bob will come crashing to the floor.

Exhibition Phyllis Berman and Anne Lilly: Stillness
Start date 09 Sep 2017 (45 days ago)
End date 28 Oct 2017 (in 4 days)
Presenter Room 83 Spring link
Venue 83 Spring Street, Watertown, MA, USA map
Image Phyllis Berman, Tryst, 2016, oil on linen, 24 x 20 inches, courtesy of Room 83 Spring
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