Monday, April 23, 2012

"Abstract Explorations", Kas Turner @ Art Lofts

Abstraction entered the current era early in the 1900's with Fauvism, kept going in different forms through the 1930's, then subsided until the 1940's and remained strong through the 1950's during the Abstract Expressionist era. It has enjoyed a resurgence in the first decade of the 21st century.

Art Lofts Gallery
Abstraction is not always an absolute thing. As with Cubism, it can have recognizable figurative elements. In the show being reviewed, this is the case with several of the works. Kas Turner apparently works in a style derived from the age of Modernism and developed over time. On her web site she says she is painting a "contemporary vision of time and place" and that the interaction of color (which happens to be the title of one of the best books ever written about color) plays a major part. And it does, in beautifully modulated hues and tones.  

Kas Turner, "Radiant Summer"

  Radiant Summer, is an abstracted landscape, possibly at sunset. There are abstract, geometric, colored forms cutting into the orange-red main of the painting. We can see the play of colors between the main of the field and the abstract geometrics. The feel of warmth, radiant warmth, is psychologically palpable. The three mysterious, ovoid shadow figures help define the foreground space and connect the foreground and background shadows. One thing about Ms. Turner's work to note is how all horizontal lines lead to the edges of the frame. She is playing with the space beyond the picture. "Radiant Summer" is acrylic on canvas, sized 30x40".

Kas Turner, "Ethereal Rhythms"

We go a bit toward the figurative in "Ethereal Rhythms". Here are a trio of what appears to be guitars. There is a white thread lilting and looping through the painting (departing and re-entering at the borders of the frame. It connects the guitars and the loops form fields of white ovoids. As with everything else, their transparency is exquisitely controlled so as not to overwhelm the other colors. Note the guitar at the bottom center has its loop encircling its neck. The one on the (viewer's) left is superimposed on its loop, and the one to the right is simply near the neck, but it has a small near-loop at the bottom of its neck. At the upper left, there's a green orb, and below it, a narrow near-rectangular form. The yellow-greenish field behind the guitar figures looks aqueous, like water in strong sunlight. The feeling I got from this was one of transcendence.

Kas Turner, "Tidal Forces"

 Existing between the abstract and the landscape, "Tidal Forces" gives the viewer a horizon line with a rising moon, the rest is abstract. There's a diagonal line near the upper right, and leaf-like forms entering from the left edge. Note the textures in the paint, linear and sinous, they give the idea of forceful vectors and motion like water moving in the solunar push-pull of the tides.

Kas Turner, "Coastal Elements #19

"Coastal Elements #19" has louder colors, a sunset in the foreground, contrasting blue orbs above, echoing arcs, a slash of yellow on the left, and Ms. Turner's color fields stacked like color strata. A painting like this and some of the others, lets you know the artist is intimately familiar with the water and its cycles.

Kas Turner

 Congratulations to Kas Turner and the Art Lofts for a memorable solo show.

--- Luis

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