St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 27, 1993
NANCY HOLTZ MAKES HER ART RHETORIC
By Carol Ferring Shepley
IN THIS SHOW of delicate, exacting works, Nancy Exarhu
Holtz reveals herself to be an artist who "loves surfaces."
She constructs forceful images: She cuts multicolored sheets of
paper with heavily worked surfaces into geometric shapes and recombines
But it is those surfaces from which the exhibit, called
"Circle of Rhetoric," and the individual works draw their
titles. Much of her intense drawing looks like backwards writing,
as if she wrote on a plate and then printed that writing on paper
by pressing the sheet to the plate. Many of the figures appear to
be characters from the Greek alphabet, a reference to Holtz's birthplace.
In addition, the cursive appears mysterious, spiritual - the "handwriting
on the wall" - or primitive - child's scribble scrabble.
Holtz says that the titles of individual works do
not point to specific qualities of the pieces but represent "whimsical
choices." Although all are in Latin, this can be determined
from the two that are readily intelligible to the least Latin-literate.
"Veni, vidi, vici," Caesar's forceful, direct and terse
communication of his victory in the Gallic wars, is the title of
a pretty orange, green, blue, pink and red construction that resembles
a map. "In Vino Veritas" floats like a kite. While most
pieces are refined and lovely, a favorite of mine is "Scripta
Manent." It is large and powerful, made of many sheets of mysterious
writing lined up together. These sheets have not been shaped, but
retain their rectangular format. As opposed to her constructed pictures,
which rely on shape for impact, "Scripta Manent" emphasizes
surface alone. The title means "the written word remains,"
and it is the first part of a quotation that concludes "while
the spoken word flies."
Copyright 1993 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Record Number: 9301260051