Gale Antokal suspends her drawings in an ambiguous space between reality and abstraction: a lone pine shrouded in mist; a temple-like pavilion on a hill; the twinkling lights of a city viewed from afar. Seemingly small moments in time, her images lodge in the psyche and form an ineffible identity of place.
Working from photographs, she crops in on forms that transcend time and place, leaving enough detail to invite empathy, although not enough to identify. By narrowing the field of vision, she distills scenes into memories, situation into subconscious.
Early in her art career, Antokal created color-rich pastel portraits of mundane solid forms — bowling balls, plates. Over the years, her focus shifted to evanescent events and places. Her signature, fragile drawings worked in a mixture of pastel chalk, graphite, white flour and grey ash, utilize a grainy mist she applies with her fingers. These materials carry associations alive in her art: flour signifies sustenance while ash links to death. The tug of mortality is ever present.