Author Archives

Geoff Wichert

Geoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.

Book Reviews | Literary Arts

Melanie Rae Thon’s “Sweet Hearts” is a Complex and Challenging Tapestry of the American West

In Sweet Hearts, Melanie Rae Thon has written the most complex and challenging book … Complex because she has densely stitched together five generations of the lives of the families she created, but also woven them into more than a century of eventful and unsettling Western history. And challenging not only because this is a history of relentless exploitation, marked by misadventure, injustice, and cruelty, but also because she refuses to shield herself or her readers from the true horror of the continuing conflict between the Native Americans who were driven from their lands again and again, and the interlopers from the east who always found, and continue to find, reasons why they still want to take for themselves even the desolate places they forced those defeated communities to take on.

Exhibition Reviews | Visual Arts

Negar Monaghy’s Expressive Figurative Works Inspired by Being an Exile in One’s Homeland

Together, two paintings hanging side by side in the Alice Gallery illustrate the paradoxical nature of language in general and titles in particular. Each features a large, single figure juxtaposed among smaller ones, and each is identified by a particular word. In “Society,” scale separates the lone figure […]

Exhibition Reviews | Visual Arts

David Hartt’s Unexpectedly Familiar and Surprisingly Plangent Views

When I remember my favorite movie scenes, it’s often because of something particularly revealing that an actor does. But in the hands of a really good director, there is always another actor in the scene whose work I may not remember — may not even consciously notice — but whose work precedes those I do notice and may be far more telling. Perhaps the camera holds a shot for a several seconds, until I become aware that through its lens I am fixated, staring at something. Then it wheels about and fixes on something else, and I understand what the character sees and how they are thinking. The camera in those minutes reveals itself as the most important actor.