Review Magazine Art Review: Sky Pape
Sky Pape at June Kelly Gallery
by Mark Daniel Cohen, Review Magazine, June 1999
Excerpted from a review of the solo exhibition “Inklings: Drawings”
…[Her method] turns out to be a remarkably effective technique of abstraction, for conveying the sensation of disembodied tangibles, of physical facts with no configuration drawn from nature.
…Pape’s paper-and-ink technique is thus remarkably capable of conveying a sense of tangible mystery, of a heavy presence of the half of our world that is forever beyond precise conception but is ever close at hand. She sees and reveals the thing that is felt to be just over one’s shoulder, that is caught momentarily out of the corner of the eye, that is nearby until one looks straight at it and then isn’t there at all—the thing that comes only in inklings.
…Pape’s visual language speaks of such things that are past the grasp of direct statement.
…Pape’s artistic language is the language of nature because it has been developed out of her craft, out of the manipulation of the simple materials of art. That is the reason her idiosyncratic manner is legible to us. It is something more than a private code of meaning; it is why we are fluent in her language.
…Pape is clearly among those artists who know that a great deal of art has been and continues to be about mystery, that art often makes mystery tangible, that it often reveals mystery, which is not to dispel it but to make it evident, make it immediate, while retaining all that is mysterious about that truth the artist is pursuing. All is revealed even as nothing is deduced, is simplified, is made digestible, is made comfortable, is made the receptacle for mere opinion.
It is simpler and more direct to say that art has often been a sibling of mysticism. Religious art, Byzantine art, art of pure abstraction has had much in common with meditative disciplines whose goal is to alter consciousness. And much of art still does, when it is created with the passion that Pape has infused into her works, and through her works, into her viewers.