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The Structure of Color

New Paintings by Emily Capkanis, Bettina Vaz Guimarães and Mitch Reardon

Emily Capkanis. Untitled. 2019. Acrylic on canvas.

Lazy Susan Gallery has just launched one of the brightest shows of abstract painting in Manhattan’s Lower East Side with Emily Capkanis, Bettina Vaz Guimarães, and Mitch Reardon from New York, São Paulo and Chicago. At this small but notable outpost on Henry Street these three artists have emerged from totally different regions to present their most recent work that explodes with geometric forms, divergent lines and resonant colors. Fresh off the studio walls the paintings in this show, titled The Structure of Color reflect an array of textures suggesting terrain, surface and depth.

Bettina Vaz Guimarães. Papel. 2019. Acrylic on paper.

Thin patches of contrasting hues overlap throughout the paintings of Capkanis and Guimarães. Their works are distinctly different from each other in that Guimarães uses lines of varying width to create the illusion of three-dimensional forms, while Capkanis’s paintings present layers of angles that juxtapose each other, creating the illusion of spin. When asked about the common veneer that emerges while looking at paintings of the abstract genre, Capkanis stresses that the emphasis is on process: “Every painting is unique, and every brushstroke is unique.” Guimarães, however, is more influenced by architecture, exploring different combinations of color alluding to built forms. Guimarães’ small works on paper, presented here, are part of “Elements” a new series that comprises an estimated 3000 pieces made since 2015.

Mitch Reardon. Sea. 2019. Acrylic on canvas.

Mitch Reardon’s art appears to be submerged in a full-weighted density of geometry. Strips of color appear as cubic forms that jump, fold and bow together, moving the observer across the painted surface. Reardon hews to subtlety without letting a contrast of colors overtake and define his compositions. Instead, these paintings are about the various ways that colors can reverberate and insinuate new depths within the limits of pictorial space.

The paintings on view in The Structure of Color imply figurative movement without directly referencing it. The artists’ random selections of bright, vibrant tones moreover not only pair well with their contrasts but also establish abstract painting as a subjective experience. In New York City where abstract painting is weighted down by a larger history, The Structure of Color stands out by breaking the rules of the rigid, flat forms of formalism by engaging the notion of space. Mitch Reardon, Bettina Vaz Guimarães and Emily Capkanis are certainly artists to watch.

Jill Conner, New York



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