by Elenore Welles
|Color? Its human blood that circulates in beautiful palpitations.
Merion Estes, Tailspin 1, mixed
media on panel, 23.5 x 31, 2000.
Nancy Evans, "Untitled 2",
a/c, 52 x 72", 2000.
Bert Herrington, "Crisp E.L.,"
mixed media on canvas
over panel, 70 x 68", 2000.
|Nancy Evans restrained floral compositions are far removed from the retinal spinning works of Estes. Evans work leans more toward the classic problems of pictorial space, with the soft lyricism of internal luminosity. Stylized flowers that are precisely delineated float within the stable confines of geometric backgrounds. An orange and yellow pansy against a green background is about as spinning as you get. Untitled 2 is a pure abstraction, and although more formalized, the works subtle flat areas of color and simplified elements bear a strong relation to color-field paintings.
With Max Presneill, we are in the realm of the socio-political. He creates photo-based geometric underpinnings for vibrantly colored paintings. Presneill states, My work is an attempt to reclaim elements from our consumerist visual culture to reinstate a critical dialogue. A lofty premise, but while his intent is well enough understood, images remain pictorially elusive. Presneill starts with photographs of advertisements taken from lifestyle magazines and cuts out the figures. He paints in the negative space that has been outlined on canvas and rearranged into colorful abstractions. The form of the figure is always present. Using house paints and acrylics, chromatic contrasts are laid down in sharply defined areas, often achieving a dynamic counterpoint between color and form. The work evokes the Cubist-Futurist style and their view that painting suggests the manner in which the universe and everything in it possesses some inner presence.
Bert Herrington, a recent graduate of Claremont Graduate School, interjects raised shadowy images of cowboys, cattle and trees within a system of flat color squares that seems closely related to the minimalist ideas of De Stijl and the crisp discipline of the system paintings of the early 1960s. In Crisp E.L. and Grid: Summered Late tonal sobriety competes with black squares in geometric grids that act as a base for inserted figures.