Page 88

ART ABOUT TOWN

gestalt of the Reverie paintings is almost organic. Yet these careful studies in perception candidly display evidence of constant consideration, revision, addition, resolution. A single shape, stroke or gesture might start as underpainting and resolve as overpainting in an adjacent passage. Pryor deploys microglitter in the pigments—with admirable restraint considering its delightfulness—triggering real optical action, pausing the eye, then setting it back into a different kind of motion. Once you see some glitter you look for more, and this closer scrutiny of the entire composition yields all kinds of other rewarding details. Pryor’s stylistic process is tautological in the most dynamic, generous sense, as she’s been consciously working both sides of the abstract/ objective divide for years. Except with Pryor, it’s not a divide, it’s a continuum. CRAIG KRULL GALLERY, SANTA MONICA Robin Mitchell: How Many Heartbeats in a Lifetime? (March 5-April 9, 2016) Words Kay Whitney

For almost 40 years, the art world has repeatedly and predictably equated challenging acts with spectacle and theatricality. Robin Mitchell’s work defies this shallow and repetitive trend; her paintings are unique for a modest scale that barely contains their intense and transcendent imagery. Mitchell never resorts to the decorative or sensational; she has faced and circumvented obstacles most abstractionists never negotiate. Her attitude encompasses the metaphysical and spiritual while completely embracing painting’s potential. Mitchell’s paintings are composed of layered, crudely concentric circles of dotted lines superimposed on a field of transparent color. Her imagery is subsumed into an all-over pattern of interlocking, repeating shapes, dots and dashes and amorphous forms conjured from a range of intense hues. The use of color is startling: Mitchell opposes light and dark and sets complementary colors against each other. Forms are mirrored, repeated and transposed. The resulting imagery rarely conforms to familiar or conventional ways of conducting color across a surface; their brilliant optical rhythms, strange and dissonant, create a powerful illusion of depth. There is a tangible visual throb, an effervescence, to the work; the charged planes of color and skeins of lines resemble a buzzing diagram of magnetic fields. The viewer is drawn into the structure of the paintings. The mind courses along their dotted pathways and illusory spaces. One aspect of Mitchell’s work is a resonance with non-Western imagery. Her paintings echo the symmetry of Mexican folk art and even the influence of Islamic designs. It also engages the vibrating illusions of ’60s Op art, Her work is in 88

Fabrik - Issue 31  

This issue coincides with Fabrik’s Photo Independent Art Fair, and the Month of Photography LA. The photography theme crops up in our covera...