Saturday, September 12, 2009

Claire Van Vliet, Black and White: Selected Works 1952-2009

Maple Ridge Gallery opened an exhibit today of the black-and-white works of Claire Van Vliet, the book artist whose Janus Press has transformed elegant paper into works of striking beauty.

Van Vliet's work in black and white, which is not part of her Janus collection, is most striking when she portrays the complexity of the natural world. From storms over the nearby hills, to windcaves in New Zealand, to the revelations of an Irish peat bog as the sea chews away the accumulation of centuries, the forms and their magic emerge in these prints -- some of them intaglio vitrographs the size of a window, summoning the forms of stone and sky.

I liked the way that the rocks became intricately layered as if they had grown with rings of age the way trees do. And I marveled at the brilliant white spaces set within the shadows and darkness.

Another facet of the show is Van Vliet's Kafka series.

Nancy Reid at Maple Ridge will continue the exhibit through November 9. Gallery hours at 1713 Maple Ridge Road, Newark, VT are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon to six -- and by appointment (802-467-8400,

In the photo above: Claire Van Vliet, left, with gallery owner Nancy Reid.

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