New York Times, Art in Review, July 5, 2012

Creative Growth

By Ken Johnson

Rachel Uffner Gallery

47 Orchard Street, LES, NY

Many professionals imitate unschooled artists these days. You might think that is what you are looking at in this appealing show, organized by Amie Scally, deputy director and curator at White Columns gallery. But all 10 participants are products of Creative Growth, a workshop for people with mental, physical and developmental disabilities in Oakland, Calif.

Best known is Judith Scott (1943-2005), who made bulbous, abstract sculptures by wrapping miles of different colored yarns around objects that often end up invisibly buried under the layers. A blob-shaped piece on a pedestal here nicely exemplifies her mysterious single-mindedness.

On paper, Dan Miller accumulates fine black lines into abstract, cosmically suggestive fields, while Donald Mitchell covers pages with little figures of people with flat, black bodies and big round heads who exude an infectious, elfish energy.

John Hiltunen makes dreamy, surrealistic collages in which magazine fashion models have animal heads. A deft watercolorist, Aurie Ramirez envisions sweet, pretty women in colorful, vaguely Edwardian costumes. It’s funny to see them hanging next to Dwight Mackintosh’s wildly gestural ink drawings of men and women in erotically excited confrontations.

William Scott’s boldly painted portraits of Queen Latifah and Janet Jackson; Maureen Clay’s rocklike papier-mâché objects covered by pointillist painting; and David Albertsen’s watercolors of an otherworldly landscape and a mandala in visionary space all touch on other spheres of imagination.

Read article on NYT web page here.