|Laura Bidwa, Tromage, 2012, detail. Acrylic and oil on panel, |
17 x 22."
Gall has chosen only two works by each of the artists—Laura Bidwa, Sarah Fairchild, Laura Sanders, and herself. She's placed one large painting by each artist in the airy front room, and a small one in the busy back room, where work by some regular gallery artists also hangs.
In the main room, each of the four paintings is more than strong enough to bear the exposure it gets; and all are unquestionably peers. Fairchild and Sanders create obvious drama in their work; Bidwa and Gall present with restraint. The paintings are hung for excellent visual balance and they provide an engaging variety of experiences for the viewer's imagination. Each painting stands out for its unique expression, and each is enhanced by contrast with those around it. Yet there is no sense of competition for notice; the balance is perfect. This is truly artful curating, to generate the sense that each work might lose a little once it's removed from its neighborly relationships when the show closes.
|Laura Bidwa, Tromage, 2012. Acrylic and oil on panel, 17 x 22."|
Laura Bidwa's Tromage fascinates me with its many floating levels, all as thin as transparencies laid atop one another on a panel of seeming worn, black linen. I found myself holding my breath in the face of the mysterious calmness, which seemed to mask something explosive. The detail above gives a better indication of how colorful is the central figure, sitting like a Buddha on the floor. But, as the detail shows, it is not really a mass, but a series of ambient layers, atop which the red line moves like a descant. The bee's flight over a flower? The blood vessels bringing life to the brain? Separation and unity, life and indifference—I could contemplate this painting and its spectrum of thought for a long, long time.
|Laura Bidwa, Wanted To, 2004/2012, colored pencil,|
acrylic and oil on panel, 12 x 15."
|Bidwa, Wanted To, detail|
|Sarah Fairchild, Lettuce and |
|Sarah Fairchild, Lettuce and Lambsquarters, 2012. Acrylic and flocking on paper,|
36 x 52."
|Sarah Fairchild, Silks, 2012. Silkscreen, acrylic, and flocking on paper, 11 x 30."|
|Laura Fairchild, Drinking Water, 2012. Oil on wood, 5 x 6."|
Sanders's paintings create high drama from an everyday, backyard scene. In this, they are consonant with the other work in the show. All of these artists seemingly take nothing in particular as their focal points and make emotional mountains thereof. Everybody's doing it these days? I think that's largely true, but I like the way these four embrace the stage so unabashedly.
|Laura Sanders, Consume, 2012. Oil on canvas, 21 x 34."|
|Linda Gall, It's Just Lust, 2013. Acrylic on wood panel, 36 x 36."|