Recommending Beverly Ress

On the art blog Working, Amy Wilson, on a break from writing a stack of recommendation letters, wonders why her talented friend Beverly Ress isn’t an artworld big. In a 2007 art review for the Baltimore City Paper, Deborah McLeod described Ress’s work. “These meticulous colored-pencil drawings float on expanses of white paper and share the paper’s large open fields of emptiness with corresponding cutouts,” she wrote. “Connected through a paper umbilical cord to its originating opening–which, importantly, is not severed during the process–the released cutout reaffixes to the page, made sculptural through the artist’s folding and bending techniques…. Ress’ visual product is an equally miraculous event in and of itself.” Wilson, who has known Ress for several years, in writing her letter, remembered how much she loved Ress’s work. As she sat writing the letter, she began asking questions that artists who have representation rarely ask. “Why the hell am I even writing this letter, anyway? Shouldn�t they just give her the job flat out because her work is so amazing? Shouldn�t she be writing letters for me instead of vice versa? She�s a woman (yes, I think this has a lot to do with it); she lives outside of NYC; her work doesn�t photograph well; her work is minimal and sedate although it often takes on difficult (ie, not-so-pretty) subjects; her work hovers between various formal boundaries of sculpture/installation/drawing which make it difficult to fit into the marketplace. She�s also just a really nice person who – while she�s really smart and articulate and certainly no pushover – isn�t a forceful schmoozer. She�s just a nice, normal person who cares deeply about her practice and it�s really annoying that somehow that�s not enough for her to be a big shot.” Read more. Check out images of Ress’s work for yourself at washingtonart.com.

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