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Review: Birdsall-Lander's work is infused with mystery

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 9, 2011 - In "Poetry of Objects" at Duane Reed Gallery, Jane Birdsall-Lander has developed a body of elusive, elegant sculptures born of the correlations between bodies, built structures, and written symbols.

Birdsall-Lander combines evocative forms and materials (arcing wooden snaths, cane handles, cello pegs, a vintage shoe rack, waxed linen thread) into curious objects of mysterious origin and purpose: They might be primordial tools, modern musical instruments, decorative designs, anatomical models --or all these things at once.

"Collective Subtext A-Z" (2004) delves into the written symbol, meditating on the archetypal gestures of signifying systems; but the majority of the show is given to the artist's mysterious sculptural forms, mounted on the walls and casting shadows as secretive as the objects themselves.

Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic. 

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