Suzette Lebenzon’s Mystical Wellfleet
In Suzette Lebenzon’s Broken Heart Mending at Lieutenant Island, a crow flies above a winding road that extends into a fantastically colored night sky. The road is lined with tarot cards that trace a journey from the Three of Swords (pain, betrayal, emotional upheaval) to The Star (hope, healing, redemption). It’s a vivid metaphorical depiction of the narrative described in the title of the painting. But like tarot cards — and the painting as a whole — the actual story is open to interpretation.
Lebenzon’s paintings are on view in “Magical Place,” a group show of gallery artists at AMZehnder Gallery (25 Bank St., Wellfleet) through Dec. 25. In a statement accompanying the show, the artist says her paintings combine recognizable locations in Wellfleet with memories of the “mystical occurrences” she has experienced in them.
Roads and paths are motifs in other views of Lebenzon’s adopted hometown, like the one that extends from the foreground into a swirl of trees and water in Night Swim at Gull Pond. She describes how she was inspired by a late summer visit to the pond with friends: “Under the light of a crescent moon, the four of us frolicked in the water in various degrees of undress. The night covered us like a blanket, as stars slowly revealed themselves. Bats flew overhead; it seemed like witchcraft was possible.” In the painting, bodies blend into ripples on the surface of the water, which bends along the horizon towards the sky. The landscape becomes an entire world where anything can happen — even magic.
An open house for the show is on Saturday, Nov. 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. See amzehnder.com for more information. —John D’Addario
Remembering Kim Kobrin at Snow Library
There’s something elegiac and personal in the work of the late Kim Kobrin currently on view at Snow Library in Orleans. The artist’s biography is written in first person on a typewriter, and painting titles are handwritten. Even the prices are modest (a note tells visitors that “All good offers will be accepted”). These are clues to the life of an artist who spent her last two decades in Orleans after a career as an artist and teacher in New York. The exhibition is on view until Dec. 1.
Kobrin was ambitious. “She loved to paint,” says her husband, Herb Kobrin. “That was her dream and her life.” In Urban Lights, one of the five large paintings that ground the exhibit, she lays down rich autumnal colors in improvisational, overlapping marks. She mixes sand into the paint, which via its no-nonsense application with a palette knife communicates a sense of weight and gravity.
Other standouts include Pyramid, a geometric abstraction of warm, earthy colors interrupted by a cool blue shape, which reads as either a void within the painting or a bird-like form flying through it. Kobrin further explores color relationships in the diamond-shaped Yellow Brick Road, where the forms are more organic and flowing.
The larger paintings are accompanied by small drawings and pastels, including a series titled Soul Windows. These meditative works recall mandalas in their intricate and symmetrical forms. They also position Kobrin’s wider creative output in a spiritual context, where color and form elevate the soul. —Abraham Storer