Our review of Marc Leitzel and Rick Billings’s now closed exhibit at AS220:
In Marc Leitzel’s sharply real scratchboard drawings in AS220’s main gallery, he depicts a tense moment between a couple in bed, a wind-blown woman wrapped in a cape, and a woman with tree branches and leaves bound up in her hair and opossums or rodents peeking out from the leaves. He also exhibits paintings and pastels of a soldier or a couple kissing, but his brushwork is a bit muddled, and these full color works don’t match the scratchboard drawing’s dramatic sense of light and dark.
In Leitzel’s scratchboard “I Need No Soft Lights to Enchant Me” (pictured above), sun glows down through leaves upon a woman, glinting off her long hair and the shoulders of her floral blouse, as she closes her eyes. And that sun really seems to shine because Leitzel’s command of the technique creates the electric effect of scratching light out of darkness.
Also on view in the main gallery are Providence artist Rick Billings’s sweet goth black-and-white pen drawings. A tree grows up through an old wooden chair as a decaying Victorian house lurks on a hill behind. Lampposts come alive and walk down a lane. A girl with wings grasps an iron gate at the bottom of a grassy hill with the Victorian house at the top. Billings’s design of characters and the composition of the spaces is still developing, but he has a feel for creating charming dark worlds in which everything seems spookily alive.
Marc Leitzel and Rick Billings, AS220’s main gallery, 115 Empire St., Providence, June 5 to 25, 2011.