Tuesday, July 14, 2009

REVIEW: Axel Stohlberg at City Center, Montpelier

By Theodore Hoppe

It has been noted in another Vermont Art Zine review that Axel Stohlberg is deserving of an art trophy for his tireless efforts to create intelligent and energetic exhibits of art. So, it is with no surprise that we call your attention to Axel Stohlberg's latest exhibit of drawing at Montpelier's City Center.

The beauty of his new drawings, like so much of Stohlberg's work, lies in their sheer simplicity. In art, as in life, simple is never easy, yet Stohlberg makes it appear effortless, the sign of a gifted artist. The white lines of the drawings are confidently executed on a black background, reversing the way the we normally see a drawing. This also engages the space around the drawings. There is the wall, but if we look inside the wall we can get the feeling of peering inside of something to see how it works, only to be confronted by things too complex to perceive with the eye alone: the x-ray of a body part, the enlarged etching on a computer chip, a diagram of how molecules interact. The lines and shapes vibrate and hum to create a progression of energy-like waves of heat or sound.

To some art is a product, a noun, to Axel Stohlberg art is a verb, a process.

Stohlberg’s drawings (along with the work of several other artists) remain at City Center through the end of July.