Local artist Vivian Caudle doesn't show often; her latest contribution was to the Modbo's The Figure Show last year.
That's a problem, because she should show much more.
Caudle's main subject matter are images of women in burqas and botanical drawings. Each possesses a highly illustrative quality, as the women are highly symbolic (or real figures such as Soraya M.) and the botanicals are heavy with meaning on their own. Caudle builds up these works with watercolor paint, gouache, pastels, charcoal and Conté crayons, modeling the subjects to such a degree that they appear strangely realistic, even 3-D.
Layers of film and gauze make up her interpretation of dandelion gone to seed, or one decaying. Caudle amazingly endows these basic weeds with a feeling of time and history. They are quietly disturbing — almost — but not nearly as much as the women in burqas Caudle paints. These portraits are extremely dark and dramatic, yet so powerfully executed that the drama actually works (several by virtue of their nearly abstract style).
In an e-mail, Caudle explains that she uses lace from her mother and grandmother as a stencil to create the patterns on the burqas. The untitled work below is her newest piece.
For more of Caudle's work, click here.