Whyne's show at D Berman is a dreamlike reflection of her emotions
surrounding the events of 9/11. The exhibition title sets the emotional
tone. "Pocket full of posy (all fall down)" is from the
children's rhyme, which contains a grim history all its own. The
artist, a longtime New Yorker who relocated to Austin, was visiting
London immediately prior to the attacks, and imagery from that trip
forms an intrinsic part of the iconography for these large oil paintings.
works, unassuming at first glance, unfold slowly in the mind to
have a surprising impact. Pairs of smoking or burning objects are
everywhere to be seen: a pair of urns in one untitled painting,
flanked by an ominously floating pair of snakes. In another, also
untitled, a pair of tall, black candlesticks, one still burning,
and in yet another, a pair of floating jeweled butterflies. Similarly,
storms overlap the cozy domestic scenes that they appear to threaten.
Wrought-iron fences speak of barriers, of protection, while charming
British tea sets are overturned to hint at disturbed domesticity.
Water appears to be flooding the landscape in many of the works.
An ashen color tonality is present throughout, layered over in some
cases with brighter elements that have a flattened, newsprintlike
these paintings are indeed dark, they are far enough into dream
territory that they're not so much disturbing as mesmerizing. They
left me thinking about the capacity of artists to serve as alchemists,
transmuting pain into beauty. Spend some time with them, and you'll
Back to previous page.