SUMMER READING: Artists Interpret Literature: Blackwell, Campbell, Chang, Dill, Grubin, Hicks, Higgins, O'Reilly, Rodriguez, Ramirez Jonas, Porter, Tiscornia


The emphasis of this exhibition is not on illustration, but rather a conceptual response to, or interpretations of, stories, characters and texts.


Although Jim Campbell has never actually read the Bible, using the information encoded in a digital file and LED technology, he “reads” the Bible to the viewer one letter at a time.


“Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert inspired Julie Chang’s painting of the same name. Using her unique visual language culled from her experience as a first generation Chinese-American growing up in California, she questions our ability (or inability) to predict our own happiness.


Andrea Higgins’ paintings continue her interest in depicting personalities through representation of their clothing and possessions. In these new works, however, all of the people are fictional characters from novels. Higgins’ intricate painting “Babbitt” demonstrates that the description by Sinclair Lewis of George Babbitt’s suit is key to fully understanding the character’s condition and aspirations.


In Catherine McCarthy’s new painting “Too Blue, Too Portsmouth,” she recalls the dilemma of Fanny Price in Jane Austin’s “Mansfield Park” as symptomatic of western ideas of women’s servitude and duty still embedded today in our cultural psyche.


Inspired by writers including Homer, Thomas Mann and Henry James, John O’Reilly’s montages represent the internal workings of fictional characters. Using a Polaroid camera he photographs scenes he sets up, as well as re-photographs images from magazines, history books, gay porn, and other sources. He then turns the various pieces into collages to create intimate and illusive panoramas.


“Riverbook” by Lordy Rodriguez maps a fictional river inspired by a passage in Simon Winchester’s, “The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze and Back in Chinese Time.” With visual references to microbiology, animation, Op Art, and textile design, Rodriguez delights in deconstructing the utility and function of maps, turning the coded language of cartography into a diagram of displacement.


Among the other artists featured in the exhibition are Su Blackwell, Lesley Dill, Joan Grubin, Amy Hicks, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Liliana Porter, and Ana Tiscornia.