Sarah Bostwick, 'Union Square 4 5 6,' 2011, resin, enamel, 30 x 44 1/2 x 2"
A quiet, intimate solo show of seven works by New York-based artist Sarah Bostwick finds the artist expanding her interests to include not only built landscapes but also the natural world. Bostwick creates landscapes-in-relief or, as they-ve been called, cast drawings. She uses a slow-drying, plaster-like medium called Hydocal, as well as plastic, which she casts and carves into, using a labor-intensive process developed by the artist. The resulting monochromatic works (they range from white to black, including shades of grey) are heavily detailed, resulting in an intricate play of light and shadow which adds movement to the works, the effect of which is unexpectedly dynamic.
Architecturally inspired, they are characterized by sharply defined forms and taught compositions, a particularly fine example being "Union Square 4 5 6," which depicts upper and lower levels of a New York Subway station. However, the natural landscapes allow the artist more room for modeling and creating new shapes with greater volume, a process which is particularly sumptuous. The contrast in style - demonstrating the artist's deft ability - is particularly striking in "Queens Garden," which features both the dense, built-up foliage of an urban garden as well as a low-relief architectural rendering that lies beyond. Notable, too, is Bostwick's interest in pushing her medium and subject matter to extremes, evident in "The Woods." This nearly abstract work depicts a densely forested area; without the anchor of recognizable imagery, delicate nuance is more evident. These organic, looser landscapes draw the viewer in deeper, and the effect is wholly satisfying.