December 16, 2012

Simple spirituality and quiet complexity in two shows

By DANIEL KANY

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“Morning” by Jessica Gandolf from “Expanding Fields” at Rose Contemporary.

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“Blue Trapezoid” by Bridget Spaeth from “Expanding Fields” at Rose Contemporary.

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Additional Photos Below

ART REVIEW

"EXPANDING FIELDS: JESSICA GANDOLF, PENELOPE JONES, BRIDGET SPAETH"

WHERE: Rose Contemporary, 492 Congress St., Portland. 780-0700; rosecontemporary.com

WHEN: Through Dec. 22

HOURS: 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday

"CAST IN AMBER" – PAINTINGS BY VERONICA CROSS

WHERE: Elizabeth Moss Galleries, 251 U.S. Route One, Falmouth. 781-2620; elizabethmossgalleries.com

WHEN: Through Jan. 13

HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

 

ANOTHER SHOW that helped me draw my conclusions about "Expanding Fields" is Veronica Cross' "Cast in Amber" at Elizabeth Moss Galleries in Falmouth.

Cross has a direct line on a sort of everyday mysticism in Maine -- fully apparent in her sunsets but no less in her cars junked in fields or, most poignantly, in a green tractor painted and collaged into the center of a spare, snowy landscape. Her collaged pieces sometimes jump off the canvas.

Like the works in "Expanding Fields," Cross doesn't try to convince the viewer of her brilliance or profundity when she makes a mystical gesture -- in stark contrast to the heroic, profound self-importance of AbEx's mystical machinations.

Like Jones, Cross also layers disjunctive images intuitively. Her "Double Pilgrim" blends something like a snapshot of an aquaduct reflected in water with mirrored symmetrical reflections of a woman drawn with the brush over the scene. Using an intentionally limited palette, Cross' image is dreamily confused, emotional and transportive.

While Cross' images use rhythms so complex they don't sit particularly well together (I don't envy whoever had to hang that show), each functions on its own with an impressive personal depth.

I like intimate paintings. I like being drawn in close so that you can see every mark within the image. While I enjoy those giant Salon machines more than anyone else I know, I like where painting is going. This is a pair of very good shows.

Freelance writer Daniel Kany is an art historian who lives in Cumberland. He can be contacted at:

dankany@gmail.com

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Additional Photos

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“Shift II” by Penelope Jones from “Expanding Fields” at Rose Contemporary.

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“Stay,” by Veronica Cross, from “Cast in Amber” at Elizabeth Moss Galleries.

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“Double Pilgrim,” by Veronica Cross, from “Cast in Amber” at Elizabeth Moss Galleries.

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“Gouache VI” by Penelope Jones at Rose Contemporary.

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“Congruence” by Bridget Spaeth at Rose Contemporary.

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“Aquatic” by Jessica Gandolf at Rose Contemporary.

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