Dana Gordon’s artwork, on view at Andre Zarre Gallery, raises the age-old controversy of color versus line-quality in painting. The argument dates back to the Renaissance when painters in Florence considered design preeminent while Venetians maintained color was of central importance. Gordon’s canvases coax line and color to share importance in a display of exuberant abstraction.
Executed with great precision, vivid colors and playful shapes are carefully arranged in Gordon’s thoughtful compositions. In “Endless Painting 1,” 2014, two column-like forms go off the top and bottom edges of a large vertical canvas. Inside these baroque forms are uniformly sized blocks, each square its own pure color, sometimes only subtly distinguished from neighboring colors. Gordon’s columns are wild checkerboards with edges that curve and wave and dip and scoop their way from top to bottom.
“Endless Painting 6,” 2014, creates a strong contrast between background and foreground. Against thinly painted red, green and pale pink stripes, a flurry of shapes in dazzling colors seem to fall like oddly formed confetti. Gordon’s shapes are carefully molded in heavy impasto paint with a palette knife, a bas-relief in color that pops off the canvas.
Also on view at Andre Zarre Gallery are recent paintings by Cathy Diamond. Here the artist uses nature-based drawings to create forms that at first glance resemble figures but after closer study escape into the realm of the imagination. The forms in Diamond's paintings have energy, pushing or pulling against the picture plane as if engaged in an exotic dance.
Diamond’s lines generate movement and rhythm, creating compositions that are at once kinetic and still. Diamond describes these works as “invented landscapes,” creating abstract spaces that, like a Rorschach test, ignite the imagination.
Employing inventive, modern-day abstraction, both artists at Andre Zarre Gallery update timeless formal concerns.
Dana Gordon: Recent Paintings, Cathy Diamond: Recent Paintings, through December 6, 2014, Andre Zarre Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, New York, 212-255-0202, www.andrezarre.com