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Fosberg, you can’t fall off the floor, 2010.

Lora Fosberg

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Portents of doom rarely seem as gentle and whimsical as Lora Fosberg’s. The artist’s 22 new prints, paintings and mixed-media works suggest human relationships are as fucked-up as the environment—a long-standing concern. Yet she extracts beauty from unexpected sources as confidently as the crane and bulldozer tearing up earth and trees in several works on view.

Portents of doom rarely seem as gentle and whimsical as Lora Fosberg’s. The artist’s 22 new prints, paintings and mixed-media works suggest human relationships are as fucked-up as the environment—a long-standing concern. Yet she extracts beauty from unexpected sources as confidently as the crane and bulldozer tearing up earth and trees in several works on view.

Fosberg’s retro aesthetic keeps most of her critiques of deforestation and consumerism from growing heavy-handed. Though her small-scale painting hand holders (2009) contains a circle of seven sober-faced young people lying around a tree, the artist dispels our visions of holier-than-thou eco-protesters by giving the figures a clean-cut, preppy look reminiscent of a 1950s magazine. In her 2010 print dig deep, trees lean over a machine digging a pit. Fosberg pares this composition to a few superbly balanced elements, making it the least cluttered in the show.

The artist’s illustration if it’s heavy, put it down (2010) also reflects her careful attention to composition. A person bends under the weight of a pile of possessions; its arrangement and dimensions defy the laws of physics. The pleasantly ambiguous piece could comment on the burden of acquiring too many things, depict emotional baggage from a broken relationship or both.

The artist certainly refers to the difficulties of coupledom in two text collages: the title piece and lies, lies, lies (2009). Her disjointed statements remind us of Jenny Holzer’s Truisms, but hand lettering and colored-paper backings make them seem more personal, even when we can identify them as Eagles lyrics.

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