The word, letters, evokes a myriad of memories, images and thoughts both ancient and contemporary. In its simplest form a letter is a symbol of a spoken word. Whether in the work of the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, or a visual artist like Raymond Pettibon, a bright scarlet A can reek of shame, adultery, ruin along with other things; alternatively, an A+ demonstrates superior achievement. A tattoo with three letters spelling the word “Mom,” or four for “Love,” might serve as a talisman to ward off evil or be an ironic indictment of social norms.
Greek athletes became messengers, risking life and limb to transport the earliest letters. Centuries later, thin sheets of onionskin paper traveled across the Atlantic bringing cherished words from a soldier abroad fighting in World Wars. The use of letters and words has seen an explosion in contemporary art. It has become a tradition for artists to explore how text works in a visual realm.
The new exhibition by the New Art Group, “Letters,” is rooted in this tradition. Each of the seven artists takes a fresh look at their own work through the lens of letters, text or words. Each piece has a specific way of incorporating letters or the idea of letters. Visual art is both ‘read’ and interpreted and the use of letters in all its meanings provides a jumping off point for the work in this show to be connected with by the audience.
“In “Letters,” seven members of the New Art Group take a fresh look at their own work through the lens of letters, text, or words.The exhibit explores the many variations of letters, most often associated with the written word, and transfers them into the artistic and visual realm.”
Examiner.com, March 1, 2016
“Visual art is both ‘read’ and interpreted and the use of letters in all its meanings provides a jumping off point for the work in this show to be connected with by the audience.”
Echoes-Sentinel, Feb 24, 2016