Jennifer Davey Paints With Words, Deidre Adams With Scribbles

"If," by Jennifer Davey, oil and chalk on panel.EXPAND
"If," by Jennifer Davey, oil and chalk on panel.

The writing's on the wall in two shows currently on display at Point Gallery, featuring artists Jennifer Davey and Deirdre Adams. Both are set to close at the end of this week.

The main attraction in the front spaces is Bound, a solo featuring recent paintings by Jennifer Davey. The Fort Collins-based artist who has been exhibiting locally for a decade, incorporates words into her abstract paintings.

Previously, she covered panels with cursive writing that was then obscured with layers of paint so that the words would become indecipherable — and there’s an example or two of this kind of thing included in Bound. But in her newer paintings, which dominate this show, Davey stencils a single word on each canvas and then uses the chosen word as the title for each piece. And unlike the earlier, cursive works, these stenciled words are legible.

For Davey, the selected words have complex meanings. For instance, the title painting, “Bound,” means both “constriction" and "freedom” to the artist. Other paintings employ meaning-rich words like “If” and “Cocoon." The viewer, though, can't possibly understand the words the way she does — or the multi-layered meanings of the other words she uses. The paintings, other than the words, are completely non-objective. This factor not withstanding, the show represents a handsome outing for this interesting painter.

"Insight Suspended," by Deidre Adams, acrylic and mixed media on board.
"Insight Suspended," by Deidre Adams, acrylic and mixed media on board.

In the enormous adjacent exhibition space is an ad hoc presentation devoted to recent abstracts by Denver artist Deidre Adams. Looking closely, it seems as though Adams has developed her own written language made up of squiggles and dashes and dots that she uses to cover the entire picture plane. This “writing” is not meant to be read but to provide an underlying structure for the paintings.

These all-over paintings feature dense skeins of paint that sport drips, cracks and surface defects. And her palette is comprised of dusty tones and muted shades with the colors reminiscent of those associated with the landscape of the Southwest. It should then come as no surprise that Adams was born and raised in New Mexico.

Both shows close August 30. Point Gallery is at 765 Santa Fe Drive. Go to pointgallerydenver.com for more information.

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