Flora Natapoff has a small show of collages up at Barbara Krakow Gallery (including the untitled work above), alongside the summer group show there, “Arise,” which is smart and sleek and thoughtful. Natapoff makes grittier work that challenges on a gut level. She has long investigated the telescoping of time and space, formerly in larger paintings and drawings of landscapes made as she passed through them in a car. Now, as her MS progresses and her mobility lessens, she’s in her studio creating these collages, dense and jagged, the layering naked. She uses older works or sketches, cuts them up and reassembles, and the sense is both of excavation, delving back through time and space, and of spackling it together. “Arise,” the group show, is more minimalist and conceptual, and includes crisp, spiraling photogravures by Josiah McElheney of some of his glass depictions of infinity, a Sol LeWitt, and a fascinating series of drawings about perception of measurement by Amy Stacey Curtis.
Also in this week’s galleries, Linda Gottesfeld’s “Pearlbrook Drive” at Ellen Miller Gallery is a series of paintings of a particular corner in the suburban New Jersey neighborhood where Gottesfeld grew up. It’s as if now that she has developed the keen eye of an artist – now that she can see – she can go back and examine what she once took for granted. Gottesfeld’s contemplation of this one street, this one corner, has the feeling of a meditation. Every breath, every feeling, every depiction is slightly altered one to the next, even though the form is essentially the same. And “The Par Avion Project” at the French Cultural Center features the products of an exquisite corpse game played between artists in Boston and its sister city, Strasbourg. It’s a playful show that celebrates the surprising turns collaboration can take.