Reflex Magazine
May, 1995
Francine Seders Gallery
Seattle, WA

Gail Grinnell at Francine Seders Gallery

The present is like a translucent skin. In these collage-like paintings, the visual touchstone for current affections is stitched and tied through a gossamer fabric of fading scrap-box remnants, material laden with body-memory associations. Seated on a nebulous ground is a stark figure, its meaning still hardedged with current emotions. A bow serves as a Love Knot, floral patterns a garden of affections. Knots that fasten a relationship in a secure way often strangle as well: Black and Blue. How things too familiar, too prominent in the mind turn what one feels into a Sea of Cliches. Broken and frayed strands of affection can be carefully wound back together in a Splice. This black or white or blue icon of current awareness- a braid, a bow, a knitting knot, a floral wallpaper pattern is the kind of shape that turns in on itself and through itself, negating its own presence.

Behind this central figure and veiled by it are other patterns, unclear but emotionally suggestive. Pealings of half-remembered relationships emotionally re-emerge like old layers of skin still alive with sensation. The weak figure is so overwhelmed by these ghost designs that the normal receding of near figure/distant ground is compromised. Present relationships are apprehended only through layers of emotional sedimentation. New and old become one ambiguous but indistinguishable surface. It is palpable, like all the surfaces of all the objects in a solitary room, but everything is more colors, the shapes, the spectral aura of things once concrete. These are the realities that taken in as a fatally wedded, continuous surface-you do not touch with the finger of your thought, but with the caress of an emotional rumination.

— Jay Carlsson