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The places I've been

The fledgling Saltworks Gallery continues its run of aesthetically high standards with a solo show by Kathryn Refi, a recent University of Georgia master's of fine arts graduate.

Cool, architectural — but personal — minimalism defines Refi's rendering of autobiography into clean statistics. The artist documents "The Distance I Walked" in a day on an enormous wall-sized sheet of paper on which a tiny 6.359-mile long continuous pencil line has been drawn. In "Untitled (African Violet)," Refi offers a ghostly sketch of a houseplant's ebb and flow over a chunk of time.

Refi taps into both the streak of narcissistic navel-gazing, which is a job requirement of the artist's life, and an element of psychological flailing, as the outward features of a life are revealed but with little of the essence. As if honoring the semiotics but not the substance of place, Refi has drawn another gargantuan account titled "Georgia," a colored pencil map taken from a road atlas, with every blue and red roadway documented, every major city and nowhere-town accounted for.

In many cases, Refi cannily plays with how little such an excess of information offers, as in a day that has been broken down into minute-long intervals of light and darkness ("Light Readings") or another day where the artist has alphabetically arranged "Every Word I Spoke."

The slightly spooky, ethereal and disembodied drawing style that Refi favors in delicate gray and colored pencil sketches is reiterated in three dimensions in a scale model of a house she has placed in the center of the main gallery. From its weathered brick facade to its baby fingernail-sized mailbox, the exterior of Refi's dwelling is exacting. It's only when you move around to the back that the crux of Refi's intelligent agenda is revealed. A blank, gaping white void composes the interior of this house, more psychological space than architecture. Again, Refi tells us, the documentation and evidence are there, but the mysteries of the person are elusive.Works by Kathryn Refi are on view through July 27 at Saltworks Gallery, 635 Angier Ave. Wed.-Sat. noon-6 p.m. 404-876-8000. www.saltworksgallery.com.



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