Elin Ryd, our intern from American University, wrote the following reaction to our current Lila Oliver Asher solo exhibition at WPG.
On November 1 as I arrived at the gallery I was greeted by the November membership show featuring the work of Lila Oliver Asher. The walls were filled with a vast number of prints all of them calling for my attention. I was immediately drawn to the left wall. The collection of prints that hung on this wall all referenced music, and depicted figures engaged in the process of producing music. I was specifically drawn to the middle print. Piano Concerto, that depicts a woman playing a piano. The same woman is printed three times within the image, one slightly overlapping the other. Each time it is printed the size and hand placement of the figure alters creating a sense of depth and movement. The intensity of the color further emphasizes these pictorial aspects, as the colors get progressively duller as they move back in space. Like in most of her prints, Asher is able to refine the lines of this print to the core features. By doing this she is able to maximize the effect of every line.
Another piece that caught my eye is located on the far right, adjacent to the piano piece. The linoleum and collage print Gemini depicts two central figures embracing each other. They are gracefully floating in a night sky, their bodies loosely connected with starts. The figures are highlighted with gold-shimmering ink that gives them an angelic and supernatural appearance. The dream like essence of the print is further emphasized though the relationship of the illuminated, grand figures and the dark landscape located just below.Along with her prints, the exhibit features sculpture and glasswork. Asher also presents a video of her career as a printmaker. The video is located inside the vault room, played on a loop, allowing the audio to echo and surround the gallery. I was immediately drawn to the sound and as I enter the room I am welcomed again with captivating prints. Classical Mother, a linoleum block print, is one of my favorites in this room. The steady and precise lines in this print reveal a mother embracing her child. Asher’s print shows an exceptional understanding of the figure. However she is not only able to beautifully depict the form of a woman, but the print conveys the passion and love between a mother and child.