Shifting Scales

Published in The Philadelphia Inquirer Friday, October 13, 2006
By: Edith Newhall

Michelle Oosterbaan’s large, mostly unframed drawings look like dreams about flying transposed to paper.  A galloping horse here, a dog there, some trees on fire, a house underconstruction (or destruction?).

Drawn with color pencil and painted with watered-down gouache, Oosterbaan’s layers of randomly occurring imagery pulls a viewer’s eye in and out, like a zoom lens.  The eight recent works in her first one-person show at Gallery Joe emphasize both the variety of her imagery and the contrast of its delicacy and evanescence against the powerful physicality of her sheets of paper.