Iridescence is the unphotographable thread that runs through LeighTarentino's winter landscapes and Duane Slick's stripes and Coyotes on view at the Chazan Gallery in Providence.
Tarentino's shimmering night paintings depict houses, yards and gardens illuminated by artificial lights hung on solitary ornamental trees. Carefully drawn, the masked geometric shapes create containers for less controlled, unruly painterly approaches such as pouring and pooling. The dark images, laced with silver metalic pigment, evoke a palpable sense of longing and loneliness as they emerge from the blackness. An assistant professor at Brown University, Tarentino is working toward several shows, including a 2014 solo at Mixed Greens in New York.
[Image above: Leigh Tarentino, untitled, 2013, acrylic on panel, 24 x 30 inches.]
Leigh Tarentino, untitled, 2013, acrylic on panel, 16 x 16 inches.
Note: Tarentino's paintings are a much darker, inkier black than they appear in these images. The glossy surfaces refelcted the lights when I photographed them.Like Tarentino, RISD professor Duane Slick relishes controlled and thoughtful application of paint. From raw canvas to thick, clay-like surfaces, Slick creates multilevel images in red, black and white. While a 2010 research fellow at the Indian Arts Research Center in Santa Fe, Slick spoke of his paintings and their relationship to his Native American heritage:
I am interested in the visual representation of the metaphysical world-view and learning more regarding the visual legacies of pattern, design, and clan symbols. I do not want to limit my research to issues of death and dying, but the evolving social and religious structures in tribal visual arts that mediate and interpret the world around us. I view this research as important in further clarifying and specifying the role of the iconography developing in my work.
Duane Slick, Threshold in Red and Black, 2013, acrylic on linen, 21 x 24 inches. Images courtesy of Albert Merola Gallery, Provincetown, MA.
Duane Slick, A Multiplicity of Sunrises, 2010, acrylic on linen, 20 x 35 inches.
Slick's handsome presentation at Chazan includes one of his round flag paintings carefully rendered on glass, several small paintings of ghostly blue, smoke-like coyote heads, and a smaller, more gestural white coyote-head abstraction. Enigmatic and thought provoking, Slick's work deftly fuses a contemporary abstract practice with traditional ideas and stories from Native American culture.
BONUS VIFEO: Slick talks about his personal history, family history, and folk lore, explaining how they have informed his work.
"Duane Slick and Leigh Tarentino," Chazan Gallery at Wheeler, Providence, RI. Through December 11, 2013.
Strassman, Kolodziejczyk, Slick in Boston (2007)