THREE ARTISTS' EXIBITS SHOW RANGE OF POSSIBILITIES
by Philip Isaacson, The Maine Sunday Telegram, 1996




The Rockland show was irresistible. I shouldn't gush, I know, but "From Edible Text to Letterpress: Fine Bindings to Ice, the Artist's Book by Angela Lorenz" at the Farnsworth is pure delight. It is an exposition of wit, technical ingenuity and typographic connoisseurship of high order.
Lorenz (Manchester, Mass., and Bologna, Italy) uses paper and various typographic devices to create objects that are part books, part craft, part sculpture.
She bounces back and forth between craft and fine printing and then tosses in a dash of fine arts, all with respect and apparent ease.
Let's begin with the simplest example. As every traveler to Italy knows, 20 percent of the monuments on one's must-see list are going to be obscured. They will be covered with boarding, scaffolding or netting of some kind for the sake of preserving the art work.
Lorenz's "Dis Cover Italian Monuments" turns this adversity to advantage. The work is a small, accordion-like book of printed color photographs. It celebrates the unavailable. It plays peek-a-boo with such monuments as San Marco in Venice, the Pantheon and sculpture in Rome's Piazza Navona, and so forth. It's part art, part tease.
"The Hat's Up to You" resembles a 19th-century Italian hatbox. Inside is a string of small fanciful hats long enough to reach the ceiling. The hats are of paper and include a bishop's miter, a crown, and a chef's hat..
A few years back I reviewed the artist's "Bologna Sample" in a show at the former Barn Gallery in Ogunquit. The work is included in the Farnsworth show.
Another accordion construction, it presents the ranges of hues found on Bologna building facades through 179 tiny squares painted with watercolors. Addresses are given and there is a brief essay. The presentation is immaculate, and Lorenz somehow, as she does in all the work on exhibit, avoids the precious.
"Noticing Death", unlike much else in the show, is not a confection. It's a series of sheets showing images of death notices as they are used in Calabria. Such notices are posted on short order and in incongruent places, next to a circus poster or on a dumpster. The work is touching and ironic.