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Review: Nature Transformed at Garvey | Simon

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4.5 stars

Garvey|Simon Art Access; through April 16.

In Herron Associate Professor David Morrison's colored pencil drawings you see leaves and curled bark, detached from any mooring, against a white paper backdrop. You might be fooled into thinking for a brief moment that you're looking at real objects when looking at his drawings. That's because the details — such as in "Fallen Leaf Series: No. 1" — are so stunningly rendered. You see here the desiccated leaflets of a single leaf, still green and bulging with veins, curling inward on a curved red stem like a ballerina arching her body backwards. And the trompe l'oeil shadow, drawn on the paper itself, adds to the impression that there's a real leaf within the frame.

Such drawings leap beyond photorealism into the anthropomorphic at least partly, I think, because the leaves are portrayed in a preliminary state of decomposition that echoes the impermanence of all living things.

Elsewhere in the gallery (at knee level) the imperfection, if not the inherent mortality, of nature is incorporated into the furniture making of fellow Hoosier Donald Mee who works with reclaimed wood in combination with welded steel. His "Truss Series bench" is composed of an irregularly shaped slab of reclaimed oak that is cracked, knotted and supported by an arch of welded steel — a harmonious blend of natural and human design.

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