Shape is a word that refers to many things: the identity of a specific form, something seen in outline, an assumed appearance, an organized form of expression, an orderly arrangement, condition or state of repair. The idiomatic phrase “take shape” means “to assume a distinctive form.” Each artist in thisexhibition uses shape as a significant element in the conception and execution of their work. In their hands, shapes can be entirely abstract or descriptive of a concrete state. Or both.
Polly Apfelbaum, recognized for her signature ovals and blossom forms, has made a new series of work in which she organizes a multitude of colored stripes into wide bands. Daniel Carello locks figure and ground together in his deceptively simple placements of circle into square. Billy Copley embeds manydifferent types of shapes into layered, buoyant compositions with lots of pop flavor. Shirley Jaffe’s paintings map a complex space in which a variety of articulated shapes establish intersecting and receding planes. Jenifer Kobylarz uses curving arcs and crisp color contrasts to create repeating rhythms and echoes. Harriet Korman invents shape by creating looping, intersecting boundaries between areas of strong pure colors.
Rounded, patterned organic shapes and ovals arranged in a bilateral symmetry inhabit Stephen Mueller’s atmospheric drifts of tart colors. Beth Reisman’s figures are composed of a crystalline structure of smaller shapes, derived in some part from photographic images. Peter Soriano is the sole sculptor among these painters and his frontal wall-oriented works address form, color and figure-ground relationships in ways that reverberate with the paintings in the exhibition. Andrew Spence is known for distilling shapes from the ordinary things around us, organizing them into paintings that read like signs and symbols. Stephen Westfall uses shape as an essential element of his improvisatory systems of grid, line, field and color, rich with reference to observation and perception.