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A Twist of Fate Staff Pick

When: Dec. 24-Jan. 4 2020
A Twist of Fate pairs the collages of Marsha Balian with the sculptural assemblages of Linda Ellinwood. Both artists are discriminating orchestrators of their chosen scavenged materials — cultural artifacts in Balian’s case; plants, wood and stone in Ellinwood’s — and they share a playful sense of humor, with jaunty wordplay in some of their titles. Balian’s arrays of antique photos, sheet music, playing cards, post cards, and small objects exude nostalgia. Reminiscent of Joseph Cornell’s boxes, they’re intriguing keepsakes left by unknown ancestors; one piece is even entitled “Instant Ancestors.” Several new abstract pieces show Balian’s gift for color, pattern and composition without the narrative elements that engage our ‘literary’ imaginations. Ellinwood transforms seed pods, driftwood, stems, thorns, seaweed, and driftwood into witty floral arrangements: ikebana gone Surrealist. “Outburst” and “Heartburst” are botanical explosions grounded in organic bud vases. “Sticky Wicked” transforms acacia thorns into exuberant menace. “Familiar Fruit” is inviting, while ”Foreign Fruit” looks more iffy.
— DeWitt Cheng

4.7 out of 5

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