Chris Barnard, “No Exit (Source of Friction: Unpredictable actions of other actors),” 2007, oil on canvas, 84 x 62″
In the LA Times Christopher Knight informs us that “Full Spectrum Dominance,” the title of Chris Barnard’s show of five recent paintings at Sam Lee Gallery, is the name of an American military doctrine that is also sheerest fantasy: In a war zone, the military attempts total control over every feature of the battleground, including hardware, software and manpower. “It might look good on paper, especially in the procurement office, but the inevitable chasm between theory and practice shows that such a thing is impossible. Barnard’s large abstract paintings enact various collisions between flat, mechanistic patterning and the liquid illusion of deep, luminous space to create a grinding metaphor for this conflicted form of thinking….Barnard pits intimations of rockets, weaponry and computer information against organic fields of sumptuous color. If the sideswipe would sometimes benefit from greater pictorial pressure and chromatic stress, the best works, such as ‘Booster’ and ‘No Exit,’ do their job with skill.”
“Chris Barnard: Full Spectrum Dominance,” Sam Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Through March 13, 2010.