The title of this exhibit says it all. Almost every texture, color and emotional impact that paint can have in abstract works is covered here. In addition, a theme that is pervasive, and could possibly serve as a lesson to all aspiring artists, is the drip, and how it can be used to convey different feelings to different types of work.
The show, which continues through June, includes works by Willy Heeks, Pat Steir, Judy Cooke, Louise Fishman, Tom Lieber and the iconic Joan Mitchell. It could be described as an overview of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and its various incarnations.
Lieber is the only artist who doesn't include any drips in his painting "Amber Ring," a horizontally oriented abstract resembling a landscape. More Color-Field than expressive, it's almost like a neutrally toned Frankenthaler. It is calm, and seems more determined than other paintings here. Everyone else uses the drip more or less intentionally. Pat Steir's "Black and White Double Waterfall" is so well planned, one can imagine the artist saying, "Now let's see...if I do a wash like Morris Louis, then carefully spray drops across it..." The result, though planned, is dynamic. The other extreme of intentionality is Louise Fishman's "Green in the Body." Fishman carefully constructs layers of color in an abstract, brushed design. If a drip of paint happens unintentionally, it stays. The drip does, however, add a note of passion to her work, complementing the underlayers of orange in the overall green design.
Willy Heeks is a delight with his explosive colors, eclectic materials, and energetic textures. How could he not include some drips? They are as inherent as whiskers on a cat. The same can be said of Joan Mitchell's "Quand J.J. Partit Pour New York," a characteristically monumental Expressionistic eyeful. I was disappointed to see only one Mitchell in the show, as she is always fascinating in her textures and color combinations.
Also disappointing is that Dianne Kornberg's naturalistic prints of seaweed was replaced by Kurt Pershke's "RedBall Portland." Kornberg's works show depth, realism, and an innovative process. I wasn't able to see Pershke's project in situ, and hesitate to comment on it from photos.
The thing with paint is how it often remembers and records both the intentional and unintentional in the process of making a painting... its why De Kooning's excavation really worked. In many ways saying painting is dead is like saying that the events of the past no longer influence us. Yet, the shadows of WWII and even the first gulf war come back to haunt us.
As far as the drip, it is an essentially existential gesture, things will happen as they will happen. It is intentional but only too a point, it takes guts Que Sera, Sera...