Art on Paper

Published in Art of Paper, Jan / Feb 2007 Review of Michelle Oosterbaan: look out, doopler, doppler, so hum, little gem, Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, September – November 2006
By: Fred B. Adelson

For her first solo show at this gallery, Oosterbaan presented eight drawings: five formidably scaled ones pinned directly to the wall – largest measuring 78 by 51 inches – and three smaller framed ones.  Each consists of vignettes in colored pencil and graphite that combine abstract patterns and recognizable images without hierarchic significance.  Some are open and airy; the more engaging works included densely layered autobiographical images, among them tulips – to signify her Dutch heritage – and horses – to allude to racing at Saratoga Springs where she was in residence (at Yaddo) in 2003 and 2005.  Here, the seemingly random array of images emerge and recede like drifting veils of memory—think Julie Mehretu meets Lascaux.