Voices

Here Is the Place, Karey Kessler, extended through May 2, 2020

I had the uncanny sensation of hearing voices while viewing Karey Kesslers’s new paintings. It was impossible not to read the words spilling across her mixed media pieces. This inner voicing began sounding like a strange chorus of whispering, singing, humming and shouting.

Beneath this noise lay her ethereal watercolor maps. Land, sea and sky are recognized. Fading grids suggest built environments. Scattered broken lines cross through scatterings of stippled marks where past, present and future are possible. Words and phrases spew across the field in varying sizes and tone, creating pictorial depth and allusion to time, space and perhaps sound. Here the sotto voce of tiny print contrasts with booming bold print while everyday chatter carries on across the surface. Which brings me back to those voices. Is that tiny printing whispering or is it distant voices? Is that bold lettering shouting or perhaps a god in my ear?

The work in this exhibit feels like a reconciliation between inner and outer worlds; an encounter between a mere individual and a world so wondrous, so inexplicable, so wise, and so mistreated. The title of this show, Here is the Place, plays on the fact that the Hebrew word for place “ha-Makom, is also used as a name for God. This work, a babble of exaltation, despair, and hope is indeed a prayer.