NEW YORK, NY.- The June Kelly Gallery
is presenting Sarah Plimpton: New Paintings, an exhibition of work that reflects her unyielding interest in the pictorial mystery between space and form. The exhibition opened on April 18 and will remain on view through June 4.
Plimpton no longer allows black to recede into the background or depth, writes Bruce Lawder. Rather she thrusts it right up to the picture plane, equal to whatever else we find there. Space moved up like this necessarily flattens the work, making it more suggestive of a wall. Then, if a wall, similar to wall painting, one can find isolated marks.
Plimpton says "These are marks on a black world. Marks on the night. But these new paintings also show a transition to a world divided between night and day. Black and white. Small windows to another world of color appear here and there. Balance and compression, lines of color bring space out and make it present."
In this new body of work, Plimpton never complicates pictorial space; she presents an expansiveness and expressiveness, both complex and ambiguous. By restricting the paintings to black, white with meandering lines in red, green and blue, she ensues an energy with a spirit liveliness, reflecting verve and gravitas. Conviction to precise, distinct, freehand marks convey sense of the artist's presence with mastering scale and effecting intuited allure with the act of painting.
There is intrigue with Plimpton's improvisation ... as in Black Time. The sense of solidity with architecture concurrent with evocation of flight engenders the sense of elation. Memories of places, of things, that can't be assigned exactness are intuitable.
Plimpton's painting while rooted in abstraction is populated with figurative and gestural marks, touted by some, as true reciprocity between abstraction and image. She employs formal elements of painting - color, line, shape, and texture establishing inter-connectedness of the work's inner energy and concrete visual perception satisfying the joy of looking.
Plimpton, who is a poet as well as a painter, is a native of New York City. She received a bachelors degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and attended Harvard Medical School before moving to Paris, where she lived for 19 years. She also studied at Pratt Graphics Center in New York.
Her work has been shown in exhibitions in New York, Paris and Zurich. She is represented in many important public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Heckscher Museum, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, Columbia University Rare Books and Manuscript Library, The Harris Collection at Brown University, New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.