The artists invited to participate in this Edward Thorp Gallery exhibition best represent the range and complexity in recent painting, and most aptly address the ever-expanding area occupying the boundary between abstraction and representation. All the works selected both question and challenge historical tropes: raising issues of space, subjectivity and proximity, the highly personal and the familiar. The works aim to broaden the historical boundaries of abstraction and develop its ability to connect and convey meaning through a collision of form, color, gesture, and a wide vocabulary of highly selected sourced and sampled imagery.
Paul Bloodgood: The assimilation of Minimal Art, early American Modernism and Classical Chinese painting in these tilted compositions all combine to turn the idea of landscape painting inside out. Linear pathways lead the viewer across the topography then dead-end at obstacles, confounding the graphic logic. This shifting state and the variety of the sourced language produce complexity and disavow a single reading of space and meaning.
Graham Durward: These paintings depict moody, smoke-filled interiors that portray the rising of incense enveloping the room. Melancholic imagery becomes on closer investigation sinister, with the brushwork and smoke breaking up into threatening gestures. The etherealness and figurative slowly gives way to an abstraction, which introduces conflict and intrigue into the scene.
Alison Evans: Masked skeletal forms created by large gestural brushstrokes loom in a fictive gothic setting where images are difficult to decipher and are reluctant to declare their true nature. A narrative is built, at once comical and serious, through a co-existence of areas of stains and drips, form and formlessness.
Lisa Hamilton: These evocative color abstractions deliver all the expected requirements of geometric abstraction, albeit with a twist. Diagonal forces help push the viewer deep into the center of the picture plane then pulls us back by linear or abruptly flattened rectilinear forms. The works appear to have an intrinsic sense of place, an attempt at describing a specific recollection in time.
Craig Taylor: Undefined shapes and forms drift and glide in an idyllic setting of agitated vibrant color reminiscent of early 20th Century French landscape painting. The off-kilter and ultimately surprising compositions, often produced by encroaching architectural fragments, further evoke an affinity to this period with its approach to composition through the incorporation of photography.
Chuck Webster: The works can either be read as fragments of the real world or complete biomorphic imaginary realms. Emblematic but never declamatory, these intuitive images bounce back and forth between the recognizable and the abstract. While operating as highly personal statements they also manage to convey a sense of shared and collective experience.