"Claire Seidl: Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art"
Art in America
Seidl's recent show was characterized by the translucency
and fluidity of both her paintings and watercolors, so much
so that the two mediums seemed almost interchangeable. Another
characteristic was the frequent appearance of the color
green, and shades that ranged from the wistful and lyrical
to the puckered and sour.
who has been painting for over twenty years, has always
been a straightforward, full-orchestration abstractionist.
She plays brushy and dry passages off against others that
are lushly liquid, using strokes, splashes, drips and swirls
with intelligence tempered by intuition. This combination
forestalls both easy effects and academic dryness. Her scale
is consistently small to moderate, and while there is no
reason for her not to scale up, there is also no reason
to do so; the impact is fine as is. Her layerings of pigment
or watercolor make a loose web in which unexpected, complex
vistas occur in a thicketlike construction.
if to emphasize that these paintings are about looking and
seeing, three paintings have "eye" in their title.
The Eye of the Glassblower is phosphorescent, luminous and
polyphonic while the The Eye of the Non-Combatant is louvered
and latticed, hedged in by wooded colors.
Purse Stealer's Eye has, appropriately, a patina like old
gold. Whereabouts glimmered artificially green under the
gallery light, touched with pink flesh tones, pale yellows,
blues, whites and transparent browns; it seems a hybrid
of de Kooning and Monet, a scribbled thatch of colors.
watercolors Description Without Place (one) and (two) are
more autumnal in palette; their hues are lucid and immediately
appealing, with a spill of light glinting through. In these
works, while all of the surface is equally important and
the edges do not fall away, there is still a center, an
energy that pulses out from the midpoint like a heartbeat.
A concealed horizon line emerges here and there and landscape
associations are unavoidable, yet these works remain outside
of nature, situated in an imagined history of modernism
that runs from, say, Mondrian to Pollock to Marden.
Not every painting was equally successful, but the ones that were - and they were the majority - showed to advantage Seidl's abiding strengths: her sureness of touch and scale, her sense of movement and color, the unforced grace of her execution, and her unwavering commitment to the abstract endeavor.
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