A review of the Querl exhibit

Exhibition Review: Salt Lake City
From Quarrel to Querl
Stefanie Dykes’ MFA Project
by Geoff Wichert

A successful printmaker and key figure among local artists, Stefanie Dykes insists she doesn’t like to question appearances. Instead of digging in search of concealed causes, she prefers the commonsense approach: assume things are largely as they seem and try to see them clearly. That’s probably why her prints have always been characterized by close observation of surfaces. A Salt Lake street scene reveals sturdy houses made of bricks, each of which seems to have posed for its individual portrait. Whether it’s the hide of a rhino or the fleece of a sheep, she’s painstakingly carved its texture into her Baltic birch matrix to capture how it feels through how it looks. Her most characteristic subjects are the ornaments of pre-modernism: Gothic doorways, Baroque vases, plinths, pillars, bas-relief faces, all tied together by looping arabesques even as they divide and identify space . . .