Less is more, goes the famous coinage of Mies van der Rohe.  And indeed it is, except for those times when more is more.  Josie Lorca’s energetic and accomplished collages explode many pictorial myths of Modernism, not the least of them being Mies’ dictum.  She is largely self-taught, often a disadvantage for an artist, except when it isn’t.  The freedom on display in the best of her work is giddy freedom of a joyous child.  Colors, shapes, textures are shoe-horned into deliriously crowded compositions whose integers include fragments of text cribbed from magazines, daubs of raw paint, frenzied linear scribblings, a bar or two of music, bits of photographs of people.  The shallow, cubist space in the works denies us even a shred of illusionism; instead, Lorca rubs our noses in what is essentially a flat horror vacuii, and forces us to marvel that what should by all rights be an unholy mess is instead a vibrant, teeming, inviting world.  Her forms and colors, plastered as they are against the picture plane, are harmonies of dissonance, we are in the presence of a pure poetry of chaos.  And yet, in a final irony, Lorca’s collages are, when taken in for more than a moment, calming, soothing, meditative.  How does she pull that off, one wonders.  I doubt that she herself knows.  We can simply say that we are fortunate to be able to view these resonant, mysterious residues of Lorca’s artistic journey.



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