The Green Lion Gallery is excited to present “Six and Under,” an exhibition of works that measure less than six inches in at least one dimension. These images, prints as well as paintings and a handmade book, invite the viewer to stop and look more closely, providing an opportunity for a special kind of visual intimacy.
Small works are part of a long tradition of art meant to be experienced up close. Miniature paintings were, and still remain, an important art form in India, Iran (Persia), and central Asia. Illuminated manuscripts in medieval Europe offer us a cornucopia of fantastically detailed and sometimes whimsical art. Postcard-sized landscape paintings were purchased, and sometimes made, by wealthy travelers as souvenirs of their adventures in the 18th and 19th centuries (there’s a room of them in the Met in New York). Images made on a small scale require a particular kind of attention to the importance of every mark on the paper, a special kind of distillation of visual experience. They don’t shout, but they can say a lot, in a subtly different language than larger works.
“Six and Under” is a collection of almost 40 images by 20 artists. They range from Chris Beneman’s purely abstract collages to Sherrie York’s lyrically representational reduction linocuts, and include a brand new wood engraving by Siri Beckman. There is sly and sophisticated humor in Julie Crane’s etchings of animals, and delightful interplay between abstraction and representation in most of the work in the show. Holly Berry has contributed three exquisite multi-colored linocut-monoprints. Olga Merrill’s photographs in the show are highly detailed, completely unmanipulated images – and at the same time, beautifully abstract. Gallery director Austin Armstrong and owner David Morgan have collaborated as co-curators to put together a show that invites, requires, and richly rewards, a closer look.
The show will open with a reception on Friday, Dec. 13 from 5 -8 p.m., as part of Bath’s Bright Night winter celebration, and will be on display through Jan. 25. The Gallery is at 104 Front Street, Bath.