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Chaos and Order - 24 x 30 - acrylic on canvas

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Comment by Resident Curator on March 25, 2013 at 1:10pm

Curator’s Comments:


(Disclaimer:  Ron is a well recognized and respected Art Critic for the Reading Eagle Newspaper.  He has written about my work in the past, and I count him among my friends.)

I had the pleasure of viewing these paintings while on display at Clay on Main in Oley, PA this month. I love how they cajole us into their formalistic banter with juicy rectangles of ochre, vermillion and blue.  Despite the dominance of their geometric color blocking, the work overall maintains a haptic, gestural sensibility that reads as highly personal and appealing.  Edges don’t quite meet along straight boundaries- and it’s in these faint wavering threads that the viewer senses not reluctance, but a contemplative engagement with media and process.  Brushstrokes are visible, but restrained.  The larger works such as Chaos and Order exert a bold confidence with shards of multi-colored triangles.  Thin vertical lines on the far right of the composition provide an anchoring tension, but the contested directionality of the chaotic space denies a traditional figure-ground relationship.  I also see the white triangles as “blanks” or voids against the allover saturated color.  The related explorations on commercially printed ledger papers fluidly subvert the rigidity of the pre-ruled lines. While the painterly marks don’t quite go as far as to deny the printed material, I was left to question if there was a conceptual counter play against the idea of totaling the sum and worth of drawing, painting or art as a vocation, or if the support was merely a ubiquitous available surface.  The casual presentation of these pieces tacked to the wall in bi-folding pairs underscores the way we experience an open book.  The white oval scalloped center line remaining from spiral binding is a vestige of connection no longer needed to be understood.  I found it satisfying that these drawings functioned as diptyches, but the duality of two disrupted but equal halves could reference other measures- of equality, time, worth, or natural symmetry.  Luckily there’s room in this series to contemplate layers of intentionality without disrupting the formal design presence.

Resident Curator Views

Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.


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