Tombstones, 1993
paper, muslin, wax, thread
7 pieces, 10" x 6" x 6" each

MPG Gallery / Boston, MA
by Susan Mulski
October 1998, Art New England

Newly opened in May, MPG gallery is a welcome addition to the Newbury Street contemporary art scene. Its first exhibition, Rock, Paper, Scissors, features four local artists loosely united by an interest in natural materials, hues and forms. The title, inspired by the childhood game, alludes to the playful quality of many of the works and the range of materials used in the sculptures, mixed-media pieces, and works on paper.

One marvels at Aparna Agrawal's ability to make simple forms and materials highly evocative. Tombstones, a group of paper and wax shapes on wire stands, is calming and pleasant. Assembled en masse, nothing distinguishes a tombstone from the other- just as death is the ultimate leveler. The intriguing tent shape of One Thread, compels you to peer inside a small opening where paper clothes literally hang by a thread. In Mines, fourteen paper flames mounted in cylindrical metal bases resemble both a minefield, and votive candles, creating images of destruction and offerings of lives lost.

This interesting exhibition is memorable for the tactile, earthy quality shared by most of the art. The sensitive treatment of humble materials creates surprisingly potent works. This delightful mix gets the gallery off to a promising start.