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Friday, September 6, 2019

Pulse at Carrie Haddad Gallery

Pulse artists include, from left, Jeanette Fintz, Dai Ban, and Ginny Fox
photo provided by gallery
An outstanding show of abstract art is currently on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, but you'll need to get there soon, as it closes on Sept. 15. Pulse: Color & Form in a Visual Rhythm features the paintings of Jeanette Fintz, Jenny Kemp, and Ginny Fox, and the sculptures of Dai Ban. The four artists works are successfully mixed in the installation, but the gallery's several rooms also provide areas that focus on each artist individually, a best-of-both-worlds scenario.

Dai Ban - If You Touch Me, I Will Push You to the End
precision board, lacquer paint
I was already familiar with two of the artists (Fintz and Kemp), but the bodies of work presented here were mostly new to me so, along with the discovery of Ban and Fox, the show felt very fresh. Fintz is given pride of place among the selection, with her latest large-scale paintings displayed in the big front room of the gallery - and, frankly, they deserve it. Blending tight, mathematically precise forms with free, liquid washes, in a scaled down desert palette, Fintz's layered images are both striking and subtle. They draw from the impact of form and size, but also from the lasting power of complexity. Truly great stuff.

Ginny Fox - C18-9, acrylic on two panels
Ban's wall-mounted constructions hark back in form and color to both early and late Modernism, evoking Russian Suprematists as well as '60s minimalists, but they still feel contemporary, perhaps due to their elegantly crafted shapes and surfaces. Built of thick planes combined into angular reliefs, then finished with flat pigment or bright metal leaf, his pieces are lively explorations of dancing motion. The evocative titles he gives these works add a surprising emotional element, further placing them squarely in the present. 

Jenny Kemp - Raised, acrylic on linen panel
Kemp paints in parallel stripes, often curving them into sensual shapes that evoke body parts or other natural forms, but the work remains essentially geometric. Her masterful use of color relationships helps give these works the depth required to fascinate. Seeing her paintings in this exhibition gave me solace for having missed Kemp's solo show at Union College's Mandeville Gallery last year, though, to her credit, these are newer works. She moves fast and is definitely one to try to keep up with.

Forgive me for saying it, but I feel Fox is the weak link here. Her smeared and scraped acrylics seem to have some depth, but I doubt they could hold any serious viewer's attention for very long.

Jeanette Fintz - Permanently Temporary #1, acrylic on canvas