This review of Studio Gallery's current solo show was written by new Studio Gallery intern, Lily Sehn. "Tree Fever" is on view now through June 16th. The Artist's Reception is June 9th from 4 - 6.
Three large canvasses interpret narrative scenes from the original Greek tale, and it is these three works that introduce the conceptual framework of the entire show. Daphne exists simultaneously as nymph and tree; Micheline has captured her in the moment of transformation where human movement and floral growth are intertwined and ultimately inseparable. The large, fluid areas of color and carefully articulated line further emphasizes the transformation happening in front of our eyes.
Micheline's interest in trees, and in Daphne's flowing hair is apparent in many of the works on display. At the end of Ovid's poem, it is Daphne's hair (in the form of the transformed Laurel leaf) that Apollo claims for his crown and symbol of victory, but unlike the leaves plucked from the tree that eventually fade away and die, Daphne's existence is eternal. The drawings on vellum, titled with lines from Dylan Thomas' poetry, seem to be inspired by this sense of perseverance and continuous transformation that Micheline's Daphne possesses. (Unlike Ovid's Daphne, who merely fades into a silent existence). These works are not directly related to the narrative of Metamorphoses but draw on the imagery of arboreal growth and personal transformation. “The Elm and the Grapevine Celebrate Their Thousandth Wedding Anniversary” portrays figures that are both human and vine, and which express to the viewer a sense of emotional attachment that is not often paired with plant growth. The figure in “...under the green laid veil...” remains human while becoming inseparable from the blanket of leaves that engulfs her.
Tree Fever draws together the worlds of literature and art in an exquisite pairing of the senses, and serves as a reminder of our own states of metamorphosis.
To learn more about Studio Gallery, the current exhibitions, or Micheline Klagsbrun, please visit www.studiogallerydc.com