SevenDays September 30, 2015
"The Forest and the Trees"
by Debbie Hagen
"Brackett’s body of work reaches its ultimate expression in her later monotypes and woodcuts. In the prints, the woods fade into the background, as if turning into old wallpaper. Across the surface, chairs, dressers and beds float as if part of a curious dream. Brackett equates the woods — a vital part of the planet’s ecosystem — with human memories and dreams. In an age when ice is melting, bees are dying and the planet is heating up, she poses the question: Will the forest become just a memory, too? It’s a thought she leaves for viewers to ponder. What’s left unsaid will linger long past this exhibit’s duration."
Danforth Art, Framingham, MA, March 15 - May 17, 2015
Fractured Visions: Paintings by Prilla Smith Brackett and Photographs by Amy Ragus (catalog — 5MB)
Essays by Guest Curator Michele Cohen and Associate Curator Jessica Roscio, accompanied by many color photographs of the work.
Courtesy of Danforth Art, 2015. All rights reserved.
"For over three decades, Prilla Smith Brackett has probed various landscapes to reveal hidden beauty and hard truths. Her work celebrates nature and reminds us of its fragility in the face of encroaching industrialism... Brackett animates her subjects with an emotional depth. Her latest series, Dreams of Home, merges landscape with memory and man-made artifacts, heightening the work’s associative power. The work exhibits a complexity derived from how Brackett seemingly compresses time and realigns disparate experiences, suggesting overexposed negatives and photographic cropping.
Artscope, Nov/Dec 2010
"Prilla Smith Brackett: Places of the Heart"
by Franklin W. Liu
"Mixed media artist Prilla Smith Brackett intends her translucent, conceptual landscape images to be anything but a literal delineation of a familiar place. This show, which contains 28 or her artworks, is an ephemeral invitation for viewers to indulge in their own contemplation; her contextual narrative is revealingly personal, yet universal in appeal. (…) Brackett's personal vocabulary poignantly reflects that which has come from the forest, with passing time, shall return to the forest – that all things physical and spiritual shall reunite. (…) For this reviewer, “Places of the Heart” is about the air we breathe, the soil we till, the trees, the horizon and what we think of life itself."
The Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MA, 2005
Complex Conversations: A World Apart
by Catherine Mayes, Chief Curator
"Prilla Smith Brackett, well respected for her paintings of landscape, chooses to explore the interaction of parts of the house with the landscape, as seen from indoors looking out. We are invited to observe trees, windows, chairs and beds that are still, silent and empty. She has made landscape and architecture the referent for her memories and those of her family. In Prilla’s work, landscape is captured and framed by the squares and angles of the house. These fragmented images of landscape emphasize how memories become incomplete. She often applies layers of translucent color, almost like scrims, to her paintings. These ghost-like areas become metaphors for memories that overlap and weave into each other and are difficult to grasp completely."
South Shore Living, March/April 2005
"Thoughts of Home"
by Tara Cronin
National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, 2002
"Uncertain Balance: Landscapes by Prilla Smith Brackett 1995–2002"
by Janis Tomlinson, Director, Exhibitions & Cultural Programs
"Brackett’s most recent work are triptychs expressing a more peaceful co-existence of the human and the natural. The side images were inspired by views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the central images by scenes around Brackett’s home in Cambridge, Mass. The sense of decay and forceful intrusion – so visible in the earlier Remnants series – is no longer apparent, as the very simple architecture of the urban environment enhances the dignity and intricate beauty of trees...Although her theme is human intervention, we get the sense that nature will withstand many indignities, offering us time to rethink the repercussions of our actions."
New York Times, December 24, 2000
"Landscape Painter Who Sees Forests as Well as Trees"
by William Zimmer
"She is a landscape painter with a purpose. For the past decade the work of Prilla Smith Brackett has emphasized contrast: unspoiled old-growth forests are depicted along with evidence of modern-day environmental decline. She is interested in realistic depiction and in using materials and techniques to bring out her ecological message."
The Boston Globe, September 21, 2000
"Forest From Trees"
by Cate McQuaid
"Brackett loves trees. You can see that in the way her lines caress roots and branches; in the way even small details light her imagination. She forces us to look at the details, as well, in the way she composes and breaks apart each work. “Silent Striving” groups small paintings into a grid, interspersing details from old-growth forests with details of urban trees: the way a root burrows beneath a sidewalk; the skeletal stretch of dead branches into lake water. The grid of paintings is filled with intersections – those in its structure and those within the works of crossed branches and cast shadows. The result is both a sense of network and a sense of fracture....They all tell the same, never ending story – city tree and country tree, noble and gnarled in their persistence despite our efforts to crowd them out."
Art New England, June/July 1994
"Doing Nature in the 20th Century"
by Alicia Craig Faxon
"Prilla Smith Brackett's Marking a Year was the latest in the DeCordova Museum's New Work/ New England series. Beginning on the vernal equinox, or first day of spring, 1991, the Cambridge Artist made a drawing for each day of the year based on some aspect of nature. (…) Although these drawings at first appeared to be straight, visual transcriptions of the scene or object in front of the artist, there were elements common to all: an interest in the lyric power of line, a fascination with the process of growth, and often an expressive rendering of form. From the weeping beeches of Mount Auburn Cemetery to the jungle vines of Costa Rica, tree, plant, flower, and vegetable forms seemed to take on a life of their own, to burgeon and uncoil sinuously. One was reminded of Cezanne's definition of art; “Painting from nature is not copying the objective, it is realizing one’s sensations.”
The Boston Globe, April 21, 1993
"Disturbing Visions of a Planet Besieged"
by Christine Temin
The Boston Phoenix, April 20, 1990
"Earth Angels: Three Members of the New Breed of Landscape Artist"
by Rebecca Nemser