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"Art Picks of the Week: Marina Moevs, Tom LaDuke”
November 23-9, 2001
Marina Moevs’ landscapes are vertical and tonal, which only enhances their dreamlike quality (90 percent of us dream in black and white). Although buildings figure prominently in Moevs’ views, they are unpopulated – and, indeed, imply not just our absence but our extinction. Lakes rise and engulf houses and trees, seas suck houses into the undertow, forests grow up down the middle of downtown avenues, tumbleweeds invade suburban tracts, forest fires lick at clearings – clearly, nature has gone off-kilter and knocked civilization for a loop But Moevs’ pictures convey more than just global-warming, On the Beach melodrama. They impart an eerie serenity, a visual grace (her technique is smooth and silky), an atmospheric harmony that seems to argue, convincingly, that nature is seeking its own level, and our needs and artifacts happen to be in the way, so get used to it. If these images appeared in the newspaper or National Geographic we’d sign the Kyoto protocols posthaste; the way Moevs paints them, however, they make the end of the world an attractive alternative – not a crude bang, but a tender whimper.