Molly Booker has been a Providence residence for 11 years, and is an embed in the Olneyville arts community.
“Going Nowhere: Alumni Artists in Providence,” currently on display at the Bell Gallery, actually feels like the artists have been in conversation with each other — perhaps visiting studio spaces, or going to the same shows, or, maybe even, somehow ending up dating the same people. The works in the exhibition, curated by Jori Ketten with Alexis Lowry Murray, are an Armillaria ostoyae of Providence; a many-headed fungus with a single deep-running root.
Breathe in, for instance, the absolute love of line in David Udris’ compact and complex prints, then wander over to the works of Kevin Hooyman for a much more narrative take on the theme. Or, remember the texture and playfulness of Tatyana Yanishevsky’s installations as you absorb Xander Marro’s quilts… and from there, riff off of Xander’s colors, patterns, and the placement of individual elements within the compositions as you peruse over to Jenny Nichols’ “Crash’s Law,” “Blues Dogs” and “Green Dogs.”
García Márquez would have agreed with Hooyman’s larger pieces – particularly the magnetism of the mutedly colored panels. Foster Wallace (if you’ve read anything he’s written about Kafka) would have dug Peter Glantz’ Chronos-inspired tale of pending fatherhood. In fact, there is something grandchild-of-Kafka-like in the root of this whole big mushroom: something unspeakably magical happened to me, then I discovered how small and insignificant I am. But hey – guess what? I am still unspeakably magical.