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Michael Donner's "Solipsism," from the series Notes on a Paper Universe
Michael Donner’s “Solipsism,” from the series Notes on a Paper Universe

Proceeding past the patterned carpet and cheesy jazz of the Hotel Commonwealth lobby, one discovers the Panopticon Gallery, a rotating art space now hosting a multimedia exhibition by Mass-based artist Michael Donner. “Paper Truths” is an impressive collection of large and small scale black-and-white photographic gelatin prints manipulated by the artist through drawing and chemical interaction with the film and the prints themselves. The work is stark and Francis Bacon-esque, elaborating on motifs of earth, stars, and sky with long exposures, rough-hewn lines scratched into surfaces, and burned-out edges. Though some of his choices feel a little trite (Polaroid/Instagram-style framing of a few prints; spooky Tim Burton-y handwriting ‘captions’ on a few others), Donner is clearly an artist with an expansive skill set and a strong vision.