‘Geometry Poems’ on view at Janet Kurnatowski

Geometry Poems
"Geometry Poems" at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery

Like songs on a layered and atmospheric record album, the paintings at Janet Kurnatowski shimmer and dance along the gallery walls. “Geometry Poems” presents paintings by seven contemporary artists working in various modes of abstraction. Ranging from the soft and lyrical to the sharp and solid, the grouping offers plenty of formal and emotional contrast.

Stephen Westfall’s notorious hard-edge sensibility sets the tone for making comparisons in “Blood Diamond,” an oil and alkyd square canvas featuring a green-trimmed red diamond set boldly against a white ground and held in place by radiating black triangles. One senses layers of political implications despite its opaque solidity of color and form.

Tamara Gonzales’ soft-yet-strong “Crystal Blue Persuador” also plays with the geometry of the diamond. Gonzales, who concurrently has a solo exhibition at the tiny Sometimes (works of art) in Chinatown, paints in a dizzying process of spray paint applied through and under lace. Her layers are laid bare upon their support, yet the secret of their making is hardly discernable, creating a radical perceptual effect.

Amy Feldman, in her droopy white and gray acrylic cross composition “Civic Mystic” and her diamond-centered “Uni Looney,” chooses a looser approach to the structure. Feldman lets the drips fall where they may while leaving out all extraneous detail. The diamond in her “Uni Looney” is subtly suggestive of anatomy, a wound or a view into a crevice, and emits a quiet, playful humor.

Paintings by Ronna Lebo, Amy Feldman, and Craig Olson.

Ronna Lebo’s, drippy and amorphic oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas; Craig Olson’s playfully shaped acrylics on canvas-board and urethane pigments on wood; Katherine Mojzsis’ motion-filled oil on canvas geometries; and Jamie Powell’s, deconstructive acrylic and spray paint on cut canvases, accompany the diamonds that dot the walls of the gallery.

The gems of “Geometry Poems” (the title references both the aesthetic nature of the works on display and the accompanying poems each artist created for the opening) can be seen as periods, pauses, or punctuation in the procession of the exhibition, which may be viewed as one cohesive work of flowing formation.

"Light in Darkness" by Craig Olson

“Geometry Poems”
Curated by Katherine Mojzsis and Ronna Lebo
Paintings by Katherine Mojzsis, Stephen Westfall, Jamie Powell, Craig Olson, Tamara Gonzales, and Amy Feldman.

Janet Kurnatowski Gallery
205 Norman Ave
Through March 23, 2014

About Alyssa Fanning

Alyssa E. Fanning is an artist, writer and curator. She received her BFA from Pratt Institute and her MFA from Montclair State University. Fanning has been involved in social activism since 2001 when she joined Bergen Action Network, in Bergen County, NJ, a grassroots activist organization dedicated to fighting government and environmental injustices.