Dominique Nahas

Bobbie Moline-Kramer produces artworks that are as intense as they are unforgettable.  She has a preternatural affinity to the enticing nuances of surfaces and forms.  This hair-trigger sensitivity straddles various types of works produced incrementally over the years.  These include Kramer's All That Remains body of work on various surfaces using mixed media (2009-2010)conceived as an extended pictorial requiem or memento more to treasured family members and her mixed-media works on paper and wood, As Above So Below, begun in 2010.  This last ongoing series is the culmination of the artist's prior involvements in naturalistically depicting forms, figures and space.  As Above So Below consists of intermixed signifiers of gestural abstraction and super-realism overlaid on either wood or on paper.                                                                                                                                                                        The artists various works hold within them astonishingly auratic human presences that dwell on, under and through the facture of her brush strokes.  Such energies are experientially sensed by the viewer even when Moline-Kramer's brushstrokes are so evanescently applied and her painterly marks-themselves direct signifiers of the artist's emotional states- are so thin and translucent that when these encrypted telltale signs of liminal realism teasingly resist the radar of immediate perception.  As such, in Moline-Kramer's work any uncanny glint of facial expressiveness that is intentionalized by the artist is allowed to surface into the realm of recognizability only after protracted viewing of her richly layered surfaces.

In All That Remains the artist ambitiously applied mixed media to wood surfaces to intensify her naturalistic depictions in a way that is startlingly, even aggressively expressive.  There is a rapturous feeling to this work, whose allegorizing tendencies are somehow annealed to the grotesque.  The result is a vitalizing experience for the viewer that remains unforgettable.  The artist captures essences suggestive of the mundane and of the supra mundane and melds the two.  Whenever necessary the artist's gossamer touch is applied minutely depicting individual strands of imbricated feathers, as well as what appear to be apparitions of another world: floating or hovering family photographs.  The artist is involved in the pictorial surface of her forms, charging them with energy.  She layers her brush strokes whenever needed, but she is also breaking the outer layer surface of her wood support surfaces and creating nearly emblematic outlines suggestive of branches and desiccated bird corpses.  The end result evokes in monstrously vivid terms a profoundly unsettling unreality in which what remains suspended is unreconciled life and death.  The hapic intensity and improvisational alacrity the artist induces from her surfaces gives Bobbie Moline-Kramer's vision a startling effect.  It is revelatory in intention and in impact.

Moline-Kramer's As Above So Below work no longer prioritizes the immediately intelligible or even the recognizable images's contours over other variables or other marks in the visual field.  Instead this late work has a psychological dimension (and pull) to it that distinguishes it from the artist's preceding works.  Bobbie Moline-Kramer's use of gestural marks of all kinds is unprecedented.

The artist is invested in liminal space, nomadic space, displaced space and threshold space that results from her forsaking her earlier prioritizing of resemblances and identification with naturalistic forms and remdered lines.  The artist is involved in a full-throttle engagement with an elusive play of visibility and invisibility, the far and near, and with the relations between absence and presence as the core content of the work.  In her most recent creations Bobbie Moline-Kramer deals with haptic space as well as with the conditions of provisionality and contingency of sight.  Her work can now be seen, experienced and evaluated as energetic systems or fields of energy in which the play of presence dominates.

Moline-Kramer's layered work has for more than a decade explored and tested the limits not only of what we perceive but also how we perceive.  In all of her various artworks the artist puts to use an infinitely adjustable double process of revealing and concealing.  In so doing her art ask us to question the arbitrary distinctions that are often too-easily made between "abstraction" and "realism".  Moline-Kramer's art is the very ground of interface.  Through it we recognize that openness to abstract phenomena is a way of taking-in the world's presence through sensuous embrace - intuitively as well as through the mind. 

John Berger refers to this interface between description and ascription in The Sense of Sight: "...The visible brings the world to us.  But at the same time it reminds us ceaselessly that it si a world in which we risk to be lost.  The visible with its space also takes the world away from us."

Bobbie Moline-Kramer's artwork reminds us, then, that looking can be seen as a means of gathering information about the visible and the not visible.  For the artist, looking can also be seen as a form of reflection and contemplation.  Most importantly, the artist's current work embodies the manifestation of presence seen as essence unveiled behind the mask of resemblances.

DOMINIQUE NAHAS, independent curator and critic based in Manhattan.

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