Phyllis Berman and Anne Lilly take polar-opposite approaches in their exhibition at Room 83 Spring, yet their dual showing is surprisingly fluid in its move from one artist to the next. Contrast Berman’s quasi-trompe l’oeils of pendulous plumb bobs to Lilly’s sometimes mind-bending kinetic sculpture and you might expect a vibe of two shows shoved together. But no, the transformation is fluid, mercurial, and bizarrely unsettling.
Both artists share an affinity for movement and stillness and the dynamic that they create. A nudge to Lilly’s Lacemaker sends the piece into rotation. Rods of steel seemingly wrap around each other, portending a collision that never happens and never will, yet one seems ever imminent.
Berman’s polished oils carry the tension of stillness. The more time spent with them, the more nerve-wracking they become. One sneeze may snap the painted wire, and the bob will come crashing to the floor.
Show runs until 10.28. Room 83 Spring, 83 Spring St., Watertown. Room83spring.com
This review is being simultaneously published at Delicious Line, deliciousline.org. David Curcio is an artist who lives and works in Watertown, MA. His work can be viewed at davidcurcio.com.