New City ChicagoPowell, Kate Tierney. “Rachel Beach - Rabbit Hole,” New City Chicago, (January 2008).
RACHEL BEACH, RABBIT HOLE, multimedia. In Lewis Carroll’s "Alice in Wonderland," Alice explains in a world of her making, "Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't." Rachel Beach has constructed such a world with her thirteen works in the exhibition "Rachel Beach: Rabbit Hole," the title a reference to Carroll’s "Wonderland." In this current exhibition, Beach combines and synthesizes art forms that were largely separate in her previous work. The juxtaposition of placing a painting and a sculpture in conversation with each other in earlier works titled "Pairs" now merge into a singular form in "Rabbit Hole" that is neither fully sculpture, nor fully painting. Extending between two-to-six inches from the wall, the interplay of light on the negative space, the perception of depth created at times by an almost modernized intarsia--juxtaposing light and dark woods to suggest spatial depth--and the minimal use of rich paint to accent or further the illusion heightens the tension between the effects of surface illusion and the actual and physical three-dimensional forms in space. Beach successfully plays with the viewer’s perception of spatial relationships, depth, illusionism and the traditional roles of specific media to make a new type of art form, like Frank Stella had with his shaped canvases, that both is and isn’t what it seems.