Marsha Mateyka Gallery
2012 R Street NW · Washington DC 20009 · TEL 202-328-0088 · FAX 202-332-0520
Susan Eder / Craig Dennis
In the galleries: "Hide & Seek" reveals the beauty in details
by Mark Jenkins
The Washington Post, March 22, 2015, pg E4
Artistic collaborators Susan Eder and Craig Dennis specialize in near-abstract patterns, but they don’t make them. The Northern Virginia photographers find them in nature—gazing at clouds, bananas or other commonplace things through a macro lens. The diptychs in “Hide & Seek”, their show at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, look at butterflies from both sides. The two-panel pictures contrast the undersides of the insects’ wings, which feature mottled browns and eye-shaped ovals as camouflage, with tops of silky blue or red. The vividly single-hued wings are used to attract mates, but when photographed and enlarged dramatically, they resemble color-field paintings.
Eder also does solo work, such as the “Mutations” the gallery is showing. One set depicts four-, five- and six-leaf clovers, each biological curiosity endowed with authenticity by such little flaws as small holes and brown spots. The clovers are shown in glass vessels, while Eder arrays orchids in front of black backdrops, highlighting their voluptuous pinkness. Aside from arranging them in pairs or groups, Eder doesn’t manipulate the orchid images.
Four-leaf clovers are natural phenomena, but the most unusual orchids (called peloric mutations) result from cloning or genetic alteration. Magnified and isolated, they are both beautiful and bizarre. Eder simply observes, but the greenhouse alchemists who beget such blooms engage in strange magic.
Susan Eder/Craig Dennis: Mutations/ Hide & Seek On view through April 4 at Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2012 R St. NW. 202 328-0088. www.marshamateykagallery.com
Susan Eder and Craig Dennis
Arts & Entertainment: Picks
by Louis Jacobson
The Washington City Paper, September 30, 2005
Photographing clouds may not be the most original pursuit, but the work of Susan Eder and Craig Dennis is sui generis. Over the years, the two have documented clouds that look like letters and numbers—one for every letter and digit, plus punctuation marks, right down to the semicolon. Their works, showing through today at the Marsha Mateyka Gallery, combine elements of the artists’ alphanumeric collection in witty ways; an eye chart, a cinematic frame reading “THE END”, a mathematical “magic square” matrix, and even a typographical chart for the winkingly named “New Cloud Roman” font. (A second series documents the unexpected patterns visible in slices of cinnamon-swirl bread.) A few of the duo’s cloud works reach for grander meaning—one spells out “God” in dozens of languages, playing off the heavenly imagery—but even without the intellectual spin, the artists’ dreamy blue tones, plus the knowledge of how difficult it was to bring the series to fruition, are reward enough. The show is on view from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (to Oct.1:see City List for other dates) at the Marsha Mateyka Gallery, 2012 R St., NW. Free. 202 328-0088.