October 10, 2007

Laura Newman's paintings of air

"Laura Newman," Lesley Heller Gallery, New York, NY. Through Oct. 27.

"I would like to be able to paint air, but in order to paint air, I need to paint the things in it," says Newman. "Large expanses of color play against fragments of window frames, which imply both the point of view of the viewer and what is being perceived. I'm interested in the contradiction between flatness and the extreme depth suggested by those elements, and also by how color makes light. Each painting suggests a model or diagram, even as it evokes a particular yet fictional place. By stripping down the vocabulary of the painting, my aim is to have access to both the freedom of abstract painting and the referenced framework of representation."

Stephanie Buhmann reports in The Brooklyn Rail: "At times reminiscent of Mary Heilman’s work, Newman’s compositions fuse expressive planes of luminous color with highly stylized fragments of rooftops, clouds, or electric wires. Color is employed as definite light source, as well as an emotional correlative. Her work leaves the impression of distinct sentiments that dramatize her graphically simplified descriptive elements. She also employs a kind of improvisational unpredictability that is as refreshing as it is unusual in hard-edged geometric forms." Read more.

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