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click to enlarge m_g-backwardsandforwards-marlene_angeja-photo_dewitt_cheng.jpg

Photo by Dewitt Cheng

Marlene Angeja at The Fourth Wall Free Staff Pick

When: Thursdays-Sundays, 12-5 p.m. and Fri., July 5, 6-9 p.m. Continues through July 7 2019
Paul Klee’s prescient 1920 drawing “Angelus Novus” depicts, in Jason Farago’s words, “a fearsome but fragile seraph: afloat, aghast, going who knows where ... suspended like a dummy, or a marionette ... trapped between forward and backward motion.” It inspired its first owner, the philosopher Walter Benjamin, to write: “A storm is blowing from Paradise,” propelling this strange angel of history into the unseen future, as it gazes backward “at the wreckage of the past.” Benjamin, now known for prophesying the death of art’s aesthetic ‘aura,’ was a victim of the Nazis, and his drawing passed, windblown by events, to the philosophers Georges Bataille and Theodor Adorno. Marlene Angeja, galvanized by current catastrophes, has taken the title of her show, The Storm is Called Progress, from Benjamin. Her gestural abstractions in acrylic may be improvised, searchingly evolving from process, but their poetic/spiritual feeling — “quirky and true” — suggest the auratic masters, Rouault and Rothko; her watercolors evoke Guston
— DeWitt Cheng


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