Julie Alpert has a bunch of mysterious, sweet, mean little paintings hanging in the backspace of Soil this month. I’m specifying that they’re “little” because their size does something to invite you into an intimate world.
With both the paintings and the installations, bits of environmental information mate with a chosen aesthetic to offer a narrative that straddles fiction and nonfiction. A window frame might be exaggerated and multiplied, or the bricks of a house might tumble off to bloom in the street. Alpert’s sensibility is both delicate and assertive; or perhaps she’s asserting the intricate delicacies that surround us.
I do feel, looking at these paintings of backyards, that I’m being shown an intensified glimpse of what’s really there. There is wonder in this giant cloaked thing.
There are voyeuristic rewards to be had here, peering into the parts of people’s yards that they think are just for them. Sunlight splashes around shamelessly and trees take on map-like shapes. The compositions are driven by a depth in perspective, and the color is pitch-perfect. We are clearly being invited/seduced into these odd, semi-private spaces with sheds and tarps and backyard detritus. It is more than enough if all we do once we get there is look.