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PATRICIA TREIB
Heather Corcoran

REVIEW

Flash Art 287 November - December 2012

 

tibor de nagy - NEW YORK

 

The abstract paintings in Patricia Treib’s new exhibition “Pieces” are simply — refreshingly — pleasant to look at. It’s a concise exhibition of just six works in the gallery’s small side space: four 168-centimeter canvases (scaled to the artist’s height), plus two smaller works on paper.

 

 

Patricia Treib, Correspondence, 2012. Oil on paper mounted

on board, 40 x 29 cm. Courtesy Tibor de Nagy, New York.

Photo: Alan Wiener.

 

 

The larger canvases are covered with spare arrangements of loose oil paint strokes that call to mind, from a distance, watercolors on a page or collaged pieces of paper. Each piece is created on the floor in a single sitting, a technique that keeps the canvases filled with spontaneous energy. They are at their strongest when the artist’s hand is at its loosest, and in these works Treib shows an evolution toward a freer use of line and white space than she has displayed in the past. In the sublime Simultaneous Icon (2012), swathes of cerulean and azure are applied in translucent washes or in inky strokes of color. An opaque black triangle in the upper righthand corner adds weight to the composition, while a series of calligraphic gestures keeps it light. Each field of color seems to vibrate with the movement from which it was created. The most figural work, Armless Sleeve (2010), calls to mind fragments of a woman’s dress in gray washes so thin as to leave visible bristles behind. In Garb (2012), a heavy vertical figure — again in deep blue — is surrounded by registers of undulating colored squiggles. The painting’s central figure is echoed in one of the smaller works on paper, but compared to the strong messages around them, these two smaller pieces lose the immediacy of the other works and feel unnecessary. There is something almost quaint in Treib’s lack of conceptual gimmick. But these works don’t just float on their looks alone; they beg for an exhibition of a larger body to see where her abstractions are headed.

 

 
 

 

 

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