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The Truth of Abstraction

Friday, May 8

By Brian Staker
Posted // May 6,2009 -

What does abstract art have to do with truth? Even before the heyday of the abstract expressionists—when Jackson Pollock could splatter paint around and be ordained a genius—abstraction seemed a bit like free verse: “tennis with the net down,” as Robert Frost claimed. But in the age of photography, representative painting has been eyed with distrust, since its renditions of reality have inevitably come up short.

The grand opening of Patrick Moore’s new gallery space was a must-stop on the April Gallery Stroll. A former piano showroom, the space is light and capacious while still comfortable, divided into separate rooms, some large and made for lingering and others smaller, conducive for more intimate encounters with artworks. John Bell’s three-dimensional work was seen last year at Popshops, but in a group show it contrasted in its formal lines with other works, like Matthew Choberka’s primitivist mixed-media pieces hung unframed, or Layne Meacham’ “Legend of the Blue Mound People” (pictured).

One of the highlights of the show was the first showing of Daryl Erdmann’s works in a number of years, and his dynamic, colorful shapes showed him as a master amongst many different takes on the abstract genre. Even sculpture is represented with works by Thomas Howa and Frank McEntire, the latter’s starker than previous, as if their abstract nature began to consume their object-hood. The common denominator is the expression of emotions through these works—and perhaps that’s where the truth of abstraction lies.

The Truth of Abstraction @ Patrick Moore Gallery, 2233 S. 700 East, 801-484-6641.
April 17-May 8.

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