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Chaos and Order - 24 x 30 - acrylic on canvas
Portfolios: March 2013 Curator Review Art, latest work - Clay on Main selection: Ambience and Noise
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(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.
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