Drawing is increasingly being seen as a stand-alone medium, rather than a preliminary step to finished work. Kelly Wallace of London, Ontario, wants to create drawings that rival the magnitude of painting and the physicality of sculpture. In his "Capital Salvage" show of 23 works at Seraphin Gallery, he also insists he can do it without resorting to drama. The intricacy he prefers is truly surprising.
Straight off, Wallace salts aspects of remembered places with a special poignancy (Sarajevo after a residential-area bombing in the Bosnian conflict, a tornado-damaged prairie locale, and Capital Salvage, which seems to picture the demolition of an old theater). There's a luxury of sensation combined with intricate adjustments of a single faint image in space. Spare and economical, his work reaches for stability and structure; there's humility and a sense of continuity with the past while embracing the present. Everything is created with straight lines, close together. It's on the level of draftsmanship that these works excel. Line offers a subtle indication of each subject's interior life. But the bulking-up of sculpture awaits.
Seraphin Gallery, 1108 Pine, Phila. to Feb. 20. Tue-Sun 11-6. Free. 215-923-7000.
All images © copyright 2005—2016 Kelly Wallace
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