Covey_141103#1, 11/3/14, 4:29 PM, 8C, 9000×12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/40 s, R39.6, G14.7, B32.6

Rosemary Feit Covey’s graphic, linear,prints on show at the Morton Fine Art are a confrontation with her demons and anxieties, very finely tuned, One cut begets the next in a hopeful trance. As she is working, she challenges herself to go on trusting the dervish, knowing full well her cutting tool may slip and her work be ruined. Her images are often strange and beautiful creatures, self portraits, but DOWN TO IT!

The “stout” visuals hanging the room were larger, more color informed – painted impasto built up approach with layers of meaning applied over the original layering of prints. Her theme of the show was derived by a recent trip to Svalbard, Norway, the highest town north of the Arctic Circle. She has been engrossed with the destruction of the global eco-system. There she saw alarming scenes of the natural world in distress. These print paintings are rich, striking and very well crafted but Rosemary’s problem is, perhaps, they are a tragic beauty, ‘to convey the severity of our painful, changing natural world.’

Inspired by the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, she created a swirl of countless fish, combined with the brown of the oil contrasted with the Gulf’s blue. This print, from across the room, looks highly patterned and colorful tornado of fish but upon further closer inspection, one foot away, it is compounded on countless prints of printed fish painted over and sealed deeply with other coverings, very complex, tiny, swarming “down to it” that escapes you if not viewed up close.

Can we romanticize the destruction of nature? Is there a “terrible beauty” we cannot tear ourselves away from? Are we so seduced so as to forgive the tyranny of the eye and forget what we cannot rescue or for that matter, know? Is this destruction of nature within us? Rosemary’s prints-paintings will leave you hanging above this abyss.

Al Jirikowic, Washington DC

Volume 32 no. 1 September/October 2017 p 34

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