Reviews & Essays

“Collective exhibit presents image of ebullience” by Joan D’Arcy

Excerpt from “Art Beat”, Daily Freeman, Dec. 12, 1997, Kingston, NY

[…] Bachner’s stony slabs with words like commandments graven or printed upon thin rice paper adhering to an irregularly shaped base is reminiscent of the carved surfaces of pre-historic hieroglyphs uncovered in Egypt or Ireland. The viewer is conscious of a story being told by words whose meanings leap from slab to slab in an incantation or an unspoken saga. Bachner has left sound far behind.

According to the artist, her work reflects entries from her personal journals coupled with her intense interest in the surface of the piece. A technique of raised indentation supplies her with an endless means of layering paint, then pulling monotype images on Asian paper from the paintings themselves.

“As to the meaning and content, the language of my journals, often referring to dreams, is transformed, sometimes through reverse printing, into mysterious marks that are recognizable as some kind of alphabet, unidentifiable in nature, and sometimes into forms eliciting identification with natural phenomena,” Bachner explains.

The words and letters on the surface move and interweave as the viewer concentrates as if viewed through a glass of pale gold-flecked water, growing larger or smaller as the water moves the focus. Despite the hieratic stillness of the work, there is a passionate visual articulation in the script. Just as the earliest styles of incised lettering (like the 12th century Caroline minuscule), was integral to the sacredness of the image.

—  Joan D’Arcy

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