An Exhibit by Polly Little
An intense investigation of the human-animal bond lies at the core of Polly Little’s exhibit of recent paintings and sculptures, Animalia II. Based on her exhaustive observation of domestic pets, wild animals in zoos and in nature, as well as animal photography, Little’s paintings depict not only the wary animal gaze, but also suggest spiritual connections. They remind us of the cultural history of humankind’s relations with animals, both worshipped and sacrificed, and as man’s first painting subjects. Little’s motivation arises from her admiration of the instinctual, unwavering honesty of animal behavior, a characteristic often lacking in their human counterparts. Her expressionist brushwork reveals her passion for the pro-cess of painting and her mastery of oil technique. Little’s energetic brush strokes and chisel marks in woodcuts suggest constant change and reflect the mutable challenges of life in all its forms. The show consists of paintings with evocative frames portraying animals in landscapes, a series of small mono-chrome “animal portraits,” and inked woodcuts. And, in contrast to the specific animal subjects, Little’s colored plaster sculptures of mammals of indefinite classification contribute a touch of whimsy.