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Asphalt has never taken such a poetic turn as it does in the current exhibition at Elias Fine Art in the Allston section of Boston. Imagine Charles and Ray Eames’ 1952 film Blacktop, tracing the flow of soapy water across pavement set to a score of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Or random tar drippings transformed by Aaron Siskind’s photographs into animated calligraphic forms. The exhibition, simply titled Asphalt and curated by Joseph Carroll, is spare and elegant, elevating the ubiquitous material to a surprising new level. The selected work ranges from Todd Hido’s image of a lonely stretch of road at night, to Doug Hall’s expansive landscape of a glistening western highway, to the conceptually taut photograph by Oscar Palacio of new sod arranged rather perversely over a driveway. Definitely worth the drive over. Through December 21.

- Diana Gaston [Friday, November 22nd, 2002]

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