“The Broken Winter” is the title of Wichita artist Emily Brookover’s 4th solo show. I have long been a fan of Ms. Brookover’s work. I have never seen any artist approach graphite on paper with such crisp precision.
She holds a Derwent graphite pencil and works on white Stonehenge paper with a deftness of hand that can only be described as elegant.
While she has adopted an encyclopedic mind for her subject matter, which includes various bugs, beetles, and leaves, the end result is completely warm, human, and anything but clinical. Seven small drawings of odd little houses. Four drawings of singular chairs. These drawings are at once familiar and yet convey a ghostly sense, filled with loneliness, emotion and drama. Inhabitants seem just out of view around imaginary corners. One gets a sense the artist yearns for something she has long been denied. There’s a palpable sadness. You root for beetles on journeys up tightly drawn, singular strings, held by a hand. You wonder what or who might ever live in those little houses.
Each piece draws as much energy from the negative white spaces of the paper as they do from the images themselves.
You will find this stunning exhibition at Riney Gallery on the Friends University campus through November 17th.