by Ellen Handler Spitz
Night Driver II, 2008, Oil on linen, 28 x 24 inches
White walls. Polished gray floor. People stand nattering. Clustered like live statues, they pose nonchalantly in sleek jackets, poofed two-toned hair, pointy boots with spuds, sparkling oversized rings, and, in a flurry of spiked camaraderie, gesture to one another, their plastic cups half-filled with Pernod. It is Friday night before spring’s awakening here at the Momenta Gallery in Brooklyn.
Small-scale paintings, mostly black and white and deft of line, by Mira Schor, an acclaimed New York feminist artist and writer, punctuate the space at just above eye level. Unlike the human beings in the gallery, they seem to move mysteriously about circling the room in a recondite narrative sequence or at least to stimulate perceptual and conceptual motion. Bubbles rise up from ovals the way they do in comic strips yet remain blank, without texts, thus daring us to confront and accept their blankness or, if we try to imagine filling them up ourselves ad libitum, to risk obliterating their silence. These bubbles spring from hairless heads masked sometimes by enormous sunglasses, featureless heads that connect with other ovoids (one is mirror-like) by threads or worms of artfully applied paint that mingles black with red and umber. Are they necks or tails, these trailing lines? Organic or electric as in bent wire, or are they cyborg-like blends of nature and artifice, redolent of sperm and ovum too, the primitive and the evolved, in uncanny amalgams that, in fact, each one of us is ourselves and can never not be?