Lora Fosberg: Linda Warren Gallery

Ruth Lopez
12/01/2010

In this show of 22 mixed-media pieces, Lora Fosberg continued to investigate acts of nature and the actions of mankind in the natural world. In some works, the Chicago artist leaned on her background in printmaking, collaging linocut prints on large pieces of unframed canvas.

Trees, tornadoes, and text are prominent features of Fosberg’s visual vocabulary. In when you say now, when exactly do you mean? (2010), a blue-gray funnel cloud, drawn in gouache, descends on 13 paper-covered, irregularly configured panels. Swirling amid the debris of the vortex are small drawings of chairs, books, naked people, and uprooted trees. Inclement weather in Fosberg’s world almost seems like fun.

The forest can be more ominous. In the 6-by-12-foot the big dig deep (2010), prints of trees abut vignettes of deforested acres studded with the stumps of pines. Interrupting these static views, a logging tractor plows a pile of trees, and two daredevils on mountain bikes tear down a barren hill. In right before no more (2010), the dozens of vertical prints of erect trees trunks, collaged on the mural-size canvas, take on human dimensions.

The pieces that lent the show its title, you can’t fall off the floor (2010), took a more personal turn. For this installation, hundreds of horizontal strips of paper with hand-painted texts were stuck to the wall, like hand-hewn bumper stickers in varying sizes. Each scrap, rendered in India ink or gouache, cried out: “Please,” “Mother Help Me,” “I Am Preparing for a Life Alone,” “Nothing to Lose.” Representing a scramble of what Fosberg has overheard and what she herself has thought, this work became a neverending public diary.