ABSTRACTS OF REVIEWS

Helen A. Harrison, NEW YORK TIMES, Januray 22, 2006

Ms. Widenor's "Marking Space" is also a group of hangings, but her elements are linear rather than flat. She has wrapped wood dowels with linen thread and suspended them from the ceiling, so the viewers make walk around and into the area they define. To me, the result is a kind of spacial drawing using an infinitely variable configuration of marks. It also has a sinister overtone, suggesting a dark rain, burdened with soot, streaking downward.

Jane Ingram Allen, SCULPTURE MAGAZINE, November, 1999

With her soft, fibrous nests, Widenor seems to adopt the same attitude as a bird in gathering materials-whatever is about that looks right and will give structure, a soft texture, or a bit of color. Things look old, well-used, and worn. Colors are mostly muted neutral beiges and browns with occasional bits of shiny plastic or spots of unexpected bright color. Widenor has used strips of fabrics culled from her grandmother’s old garments and cut up plastic bags, as well as found scraps of packaging materials, weathered wooden branches, and other debris to construct some of the fibrous nests. Many nests have one egg nestled inside, carefully handcrafted by the artist from paper, plaster, and other materials. Widenor seems to cherish the materials, manipulating them skillfully to bring out their inherent beauty.

Helen A. Harrison, NEW YORK TIMES, April 16, 1995

Marcia Widenor’s installation suggests a meditational environment in which a ceremony might be performed, although the nature of that ceremony is not specified.

At the gallery entrance a curtain of woven fiber serves as a gateway to the tent itself, which hangs from the ceiling and rustles gently in the breeze from an overhead fan. The tent is made of hand-formed paper strips knitted by the artist into a structure that welcomes the visitor to enter through its parted walls.

The movement of the paper walls is virtually inaudible, but a soundtrack intensifies the effect into a musical undercurrent that mimics dry leaves agitated by the wind. A Japanese Flute accompaniment enhances the feeling of immanence, as if an invisible dance or ritual were being performed in and around the structure.

Entering the tent, one is surrounded by the delicate tracery of the woven paper, which pulsates slightly in the gentle air currents. Outside, an empty pouch hands on a bare branch like the husk of a departed spirit. Perhaps because this writer visited the installation on a cold windy day. The suggestion of winter’s barrenness was especially strong, inviting contemplation of life’s fragility and the ephemeral nature of experience.

Margaret Moorman, NEWSDAY, April 8, 1994:

The poetic nature of paper - its ephemeral yet enduring quality - is Marcia Widenor’s province. Widenor’s sculptures, which employ handmade flax paper, bits of string, handmade wooden rectangles suspended by fishing line, and a stick or two, are materially delicate but strongly designed. Their titles, such as "Cupboard for March Winds", may seem airy, but Widenor’s strict geometry of form gives them much dignity.

Helen A. Harrison, NEW YORK TIMES, January 21, 1990:

At the head of the list is Marcia Widenor’s "Home of the Nightwind", a construction in which translucent sheets of handmade paper are suspended in a wooden framework.

This piece, which won the show’s most valuable prize, uses fragile paper and a delicate web of string to suggest a cave or nest from which the mysterious breeze might emanate.

Although its reticent, understated elements have a traditional Oriental character, Ms. Widenor’s individuality is clearly expressed in forms that she has adapted to a personal style.