paintings and drawings are unwavering in
their directness. The former Austinite looks into the cultural
chasm between contemporary black and white Americans
and questions -- with her fluid sense of line and symbolic,
dreamlike scenes -- how both groups wrestle with a
segment of history that hasn't fully been illuminated.
Take her "Mid-America Greetings" drawing suite. In "#1" a
young black man wearing an orange life jacket -- a survivor,
get it? -- goes against a quartet of hooded Ku Klux
Klansmen in a game of soccer. In "#5 -- Only Angels Go To
Heaven," a Klansman teeters precariously on a tightrope.
And in "#3 -- Recess," three Klansmen romp within the
confines of a white picket fence. There's no mistaking
Charlton's anti-racism argument. But the delicacy of her
style -- reinforced by her use of watery ink on luminous
vellum -- gives her unflinching images the impression of a
guilelessness that, admirably, isn't there at all.
Sharing the gallery at D. Berman is a gathering of works by
Houstonite Dee Wolff. No surprise is a handful of her
intricate, pattern-heavy gouache drawings saturated with
rich hues; these are familiar. What does impress are a
dozen or so black on cream Japanese paper drawings
gathered under the title "Here at This Hour . . . Light
Light really does break through these drawings. Light and a
lot of subtle motion. With their sometimes partially rendered
images of boats, ships, ladders and whimsical, unknown
contraptions, the drawings read like palimpsests, the
complete image erased or rubbed away and therefore
tantalizingly out of reach. They're like sweet but incompletely
"ZoŽ Charlton and Dee Wolff" continues through Wednesday
at D. Berman Gallery, 1701 Guadalupe, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Tuesday through Friday. 477-8877 or
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