December 20, 2008

Frannsen: Visual gibberish or fearless painting?

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Kenneth Baker swoons over new work by Southern California painter Sherié Franssen. "Her paintings may strike unprepared eyes as visual gibberish, but that's the first proof of her fearlessness as an artist. To comprehend these abstractions, even merely to stay with them, requires moving repeatedly close and far, looking from edge to edge and softening one's gaze to take in a whole picture - rhythms that probably echo her working process. To anyone who would enter deeply into work such as this, painter and art historian James Elkins recommends miming individual gestures on the canvas to get a physical feel for the artist's reflexes and decisions. Even imagining in detail that sort of performance will make Franssen's pictures more intelligible and appreciable. Her bravura as a colorist defies analysis. Few painters can use white, as Franssen does, so effectively that it simply escapes notice at first and announces itself as a color, and not as erasure, when it does catch one's attention." Read more.

"Sherié Franssen," Dolby Chadwick, San Francisco, CA. Through Jan. 31.

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