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TO DECEMBER 23
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There has always been a poetic rightness about Susan Harlan’s work. It doesn’t seem to matter if she’s painting, making prints or paper, or constructing books—all her efforts are blessed with a limitlessly satisfying mystery and formal beauty. The current exhibit of Harlan’s recent paintings and books at Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman shows the artist performing the same delicate balancing act with colors and forms on a much larger scale than ever before—a risky leap for an art derived from the intimate psychic spaces Harlan mines, but a leap she has accomplished impeccably. The new paintings and books report on haunted spaces populated with archetypal forms that, as the show’s title indicates, seem both remembered and almost forgotten. It would be easy, but not quite correct, to say that Harlan paints the space of dreams. Her visions are actually a clearer reality, and what we normally consider authentic, in their presence, becomes hallucination. The show also includes smaller works and several handmade paper books, most in their own coffinlike lead boxes. The books, perhaps even more eloquently than the paintings, make clear that language and grammar are irrelevant for describing the landscape of the imagination. At Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman, 1710 Connecticut Ave. NW. (202) 328-7189. (Martha McWilliams)