ArtsATL > Art+Design > Gallery notes: At Sandler Hudson, Margaret Fletcher’s luscious allusions, letter by letter

Gallery notes: At Sandler Hudson, Margaret Fletcher’s luscious allusions, letter by letter

Margaret Fletcher: "rlung 19:1," 2012. Archival ink and dry transfer on Arches 14 hotpress.
Margaret Fletcher's "rlung 19:1" (2012)
Margaret Fletcher’s “rlung 19:1” (2012)

Margaret Fletcher‘s abstract drawings and paintings, at Sandler Hudson Gallery through October 26, are as sensuous as they are allusive.

The former Atlantan builds the luscious surfaces of her paintings by applying layer upon layer of pigmented encaustic embedded with letters that seem too tiny for even a pair of tweezers to handle. Depending on the colors and the placement of the letters, a piece might suggest a landscape or starscape, a snowfall or the Milky Way. The works on paper, which make use of the letters and lines, achieve the same allusive power.

Subtlety is a hallmark. It takes careful looking, for instance, to discern that each of the 14 9½-inch-square canvases of “azureus novalis 9:1-9:14” is a different shade of blue or gray, effects achieved by adding different amounts of pigment to the five to eight layers of wax composing each piece.

The newer works in which she experiments with more impasto surfaces and gestural marks forgo the subtlety and are, to my eye, less effective. Yet all of them bear witness to the pleasure that Fletcher finds in the labor of the hand, and her pleasure becomes ours.

Artist’s talk: 2 p.m. Saturday, October 12.

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