REVIEW

Los Angeles Times

May 9, 1997

“Benign Fantasy”

 

Crisper than many photographic images and dreamier than most landscape paintings, Hilary Brace’s drawings combine the best of both worlds. At Tatistcheff/Rogers Gallery, the clouds, mountains, valleys and seas they depict form a fantastic world that is very much like this one, except in its details.

 

In almost all of Brace’s meticulously rendered pastels and charcoals, clouds appear to be more substantial than frothy oceans, which themselves seem to have greater substance than rolling green fields and dark, misty mountains. Many of the Santa Barbara-based artist’s images on paper and Mylar convey the sensation of flight, suggesting that viewers are no longer in contact with terra firma but soaring though skies bathed in sunlight.

 

Despite the topsy-turvy nature of the worlds pictured in Brace’s drawings, these jewel-like works are free of vertigo’s unsettling effects. All enchantment and benign fantasy, they give shape to an imaginary space full of nothing but wonder.

 

-David Pagel