Mark Feeney Boston Globe Review - Differing visions of photography at Danforth Art

21st April 2015
Review by Boston Globe Photography critic Mark Feeney. Below reprinted are excerpts from the larger review which also includes a review of Elizabeth Ellenwoods' show "Of Light and Line." For full review use link:

Differing Visions of photography at Danforth Art
By Mark Feeney GLOBE STAFF APRIL 21, 2015

Prilla Smith Brackett and Amy Ragus’s “Fractured Visions,” which also runs through May 17, is a kind of coversation. Brackett does landscapes that variously combine drawing, acrylic, woodcut, oil, stencil, and other formats. She loves layering — of picture planes as well as media. What she really loves, though, are trees. They figure throughout her 16 works here.

Ragus likes trees too. A pair of them frame the cascade in “Yosemite Falls.” And, yes, a line of bare trees fills the background of “Freight Train.” But what you notice with the latter is how Ragus has visually exploded the interior of her Ford sedan. At once alarming and humorous, it’s as if Lee Friedlander’s “America by Car” series has crashed into one of David Hockney’s “joiner” photo collages. Like Hockney, Ragus takes multiple exposures and arranges them to form a larger whole that’s jagged and jazzy. Sometimes there’s more collaging, sometimes less: so subtle as to be all but unnoticeable in the magnificent emptiness of a Newfoundland landscape; almost Cubist, the picture can look that fragmented, as in “Freight Train” and four other car interiors.

Freight Train

Yosemite Falls

Ragus’s and Brackett’s images don’t so much resemble each other as rhyme. The visions may be fractured, but they speak to each other. This is one case where compound fracture is preferable to simple.