Ancient tales interpreted in solo show at Bookplace
● By J. Chambless
Heroes Tents at Illium'
By John Chambless
Carole Huber's solo exhibit, “Greek Tales Retold,” is an ambitious group of large and small paintings which explore myths and characters that you may have learned about long ago in school, but have most likely forgotten. Luckily, there's a helpful text panel with her show at Bookplace in Oxford to give you some background for the works. It certainly lends context and resonance to the show, which has a range of styles and mediums.
“Sack of Troy,” from the Iliad, is a large, dramatic panel of sloping hillside and angular, black ruins, with red and yellow smudges and stripes evoking flames. “Hera,” on the other hand, is a lovely, small abstract that gains meaning when you discover that Hera, the wife of Zeus, was symbolized by the peacock – and then you see the fan-like turquoise shape in the middle of the painting.
“Roots of the Oracle Tree of Dodona” is a splendid tangle of roots – or possibly even branches – of a huge, ancient tree, with jagged, dancing lines of orange overlay, suggesting the messages being sent from the earth. “Prometheus Punished” is a vivid depiction of crimson blood, blue shadow and jagged bird beak and talons that powerfully evokes the grisly legend.
Some works are easier to decode – “Pegasus” and “Leda and the Swan” are literal depictions – but it may be more satisfying to explore “Heroes Tents at Illium” for its suggestion of tent shapes and barricade, or puzzle out the sinuous shapes in “Poseidon as Sea Serpent” for yourself.
In any case, it's a rewarding show that has well-researched roots. Coming during a season when most galleries are content to slumber, Huber's show is a welcome treat. Her depictions of the ancient tales is fresh and vivid, but leaves plenty of room for the viewer to imagine and interpret.
“Carole Huber: Greek Tales Retold” continues at Bookplace (2373 Baltimore Pike, Oxford) through March 11. The bookstore and gallery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Call 717-529-6618 or visit www.bookplaceoxford.com.
To contact Staff Writer John
Chambless, email email@example.com.