Start Your Engines

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The New York Sun

The streaming, fluttering cardinal red forms of Russell Roberts’ Talking Engines of Our Day #5, 2005, are at once redolent of flags and limbs. They are strident against a dense moiré of textured ground yet also vulnerable, both in their tapering irregularity and their propensity to allow the ambiguous space behind to peep through their thin, veiling strokes.

Talking Engines is included in Continuing Color Abstraction, an intellectually ambitious and richly diverse group exhibition organized by Rella Stuart-Hunt that inaugurates the new Chelsea home of the Painting Center, alongside a solo show in the project room by Phillis Ideal.

Founded in Soho in 1993, the Painting Center closed its doors on Greene Street quite suddenly last year, leaving Continuing Color Abstraction (the show if not the concept) in a state of limbo. Under the stewardship of advisory board chair Cecily Kahn, however, the Center has found handsome quarters in the thick of art world foot traffic at 547 West 27th Street. A hybrid of artists’ co-op and research institute, the Painting Center’s painter members as often as not curate shows of non-members, both emerging and established painters, in lieu, altruistically, of solo spots for themselves.

Until May 8.

David Cohen, editor of, is art critic of the Sun.

The New York Sun

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