Reviews

CATALOG ESSAYS Here is a link to a recent catalog of my work produced but the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Ma. with essays by curators Michele Cohen (currently Curator of the Capitol Collection in Washington, DC) and Jessica Roscio, chief curator at the Danforth.
http://amyragusartist.photium.com/files/25140/fy15dasebrackettragusfracturedvisionsexhibitioncatalog2mbemail.pdf

Review Clips
Page under construction. Come back soon for more reviews and images. Reviews are not in any chronological order. I illustrate the review with the main image written about.

The first two reviews I copy here are my all time favorites. Thank you Daniel Grant and Roger Boyce.

Ref: Untitled (Dallas, Texas). Museum hosts "Works on Paper."
Next to that (pastel work by ...) is a work that indicates more what this show is about "Untitled (View of Dallas, Texas)"by Amy Ragus of Walpole Mass., is an oil-and-pencil drawing that has a color photograph of a brand new, cylindrically shaped Stouffer Hotel plunked smack dab in the middle. The pencil rendering makes the photograph look unreal, and vice versa, an effect enhanced by the seeming breakup of the hotel at its top by the use of three overlapping photographs (a la David Hockney). Ragus’ approach to Dallas is what pipe bombs are to anarchists.”
Daniel Grant. The Eagle, Pittsfield, MA New England Drawings Traveling Exhibit
Berkshire Art Museum 1990. Curated by Charlotta Kotik - Brooklyn Museum

Untitled (Dallas, Texas) 1990 oil and pencil on board with photo collage 39"x46"


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Ref: Flying Series “Amy Ragus exhibits photocollages and iris prints, the latter so compelling I’ll devote text to them exclusively. The iris prints of airplane wing tips are, through computer manipulation, doubled to create mirror images of themselves, set majestically against seamless skies. The resulting symmetrical V-Forms hover portentously like airborne mantras or shark-like UFO’s. The churning sensation of viewing Ragus’ airborne totems is similar to the one I’ve gotten from lying in the grass along side a jet way, watching the improbable sight of metal tonnage levitating above the tarmac.” Roger Boyce. Art New England

Float

Dive

The rest of this series is in Gallery- Flying

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REF: Fractured Visions at Danforth Art
Differing Visions of Photography at Danforth Art - Boston Globe April 21, 2015 Mark Feeney reviewer


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.
Mark Feeney, Boston Globe

Freight Train, Walpole, Ma


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REF: Amy Ragus Talk of Mysteries! Tsongas Gallery at Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord, MA.
Thoreau Scholar Thomas Blanding writing for each image. 2003. Boston Globe by Cate McQuaid


Recrafting Walden. "Live each season as it passes," wrote Henry David Thoreau. "Drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each." Amy Ragus pays tribute to Thoreau and Walden Pond State Reservation in her exhibition here. Ragus tromps through the reservation at all times of the year with her camera. These are not simple landscape photos - although they might look like that from a distance. Look again and you will see branches falling from empty skies and trunks veering off at odd angles. Ragus has recrafted the scene into something kaleidoscopic without robbing it of the reassuring simplicity of a wooded landscape.

"Secrets(Walden Pond)" shows a pristine autumn day, with the leaf-strewn ground, trees, and pond in the background. but her and there, the perfect scene jangles out of place. A sunlit branch changes color. A tree trunk replicates and springs into the sky. Orange and gold leaves fill the air where you wouldn't think leaves belonged. This one, which has been scanned on a computer and printed out, is nearly seamless. The original unscanned photo collages are not, but they have a rhythm that pulls the ground out from beneath your feet.

Thoreau would have approved. The Ragus landscapes envelop you and make them their own.
Cate McQuaide Boston Globe 4/4/2003



Secrets (Walden Pond)

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REF:Photo-Collages by Amy Ragus - At Spectrum Gallery, Boston
Boston Globe review by Kelly Wise

Amy Ragus provokes a rich dialogue between drawing and photography. The scenes sketched in crayon and colored pencil are generally expansive, like the runway and docking area of an airport or a desert mesa. At the foreground, as though pasted upon a window, are small un-cropped color photos that loosely unite in a designed pattern. Sometimes the photos seem to whirl in from of the sketched scene: at other times they seem to swing inward like doors.

The drawing component of these photo-collages is straightforward, rather crude. In "Early to Albuquerque" for instance,it renders a highway that divides a stretch of desert mesa. The excitement of the collage is supplied by the photographs that group at the center of the work like a flying saucer and depict the front seat of a car, with the hands and feet of the driver, the lower torso of a male companion, a traveling satchel, and the windshield. In the outside mirror, the highway and desert are crisply reflected. It is a work of bright craft and force.

Early to Albuquerque


Of greater complexity is "Departure, Ft. Meyers." Here, Ragus employs cutouts from photos - a small plane taxiing in from the runway, a man steering a large plane into docking position, another plane wedded to an exit ramp. These are integrated with a drawing of part of the terminal and the sunny vista that confronts a man (in an uncut photo) as he peers at the arriving plane.

Part of the pleasure some of these photo collages provides is appraising the skill with which the photos gracefully adhere in the drawn scenes. Occasionally a cut out figure or object - because of its diminutive size or primary color - seems to draw attention and disrupt the intended harmony. The strength of Ragus' work lies in the appropriateness of the bits of the photographed reality and their inventive placement within the drawing.
Kelly Wise - Special to the Globe 10/15/1987