The main entry space at Mai Wyn Fine Art is just big enough to allow for a tidy solo, or as is happening now with Kinesis, an economical duet pairing paintings by Priscilla Fowler with sculptures by Jodie Roth Cooper. It closes tomorrow.
Fowler has created spontaneously-done abstracts on Mylar sheets in which large forms, typically a pair of them, are surrounded by dots or splotches. Because the Mylar has a smooth surface, it doesn't grip the pigments the way canvas would, so Fowler needs to make marks decisively since once they are in place, there’s no way to paint over them.
She calls a large flowing shape on one of her paintings a “half-second gesture,” suggesting that she works quickly and intuitively. Clearly, though, the surrounding dots were much more time consuming as they number in the hundreds on each piece. Fowler doesn't t fix the surfaces with spray lacquers or varnish as might be expected, but instead allows the paint to dry and then immediately after, frames the pieces to keep the surfaces stable.
In “Blue Lindy," a pair of similar though non-identical shapes dominated by translucent blues are arranged symmetrically, each anchoring one half of the composition. Then, around these forms, there are smaller dots of color including those done in same shade of blue as the large shapes, along with yellow, brown and red.
It’s undeniable that these recent Fowlers owe a debt of gratitude to the famous dot paintings by the late Vance Kirkland, right down to the built up blobs in the center of each. Kirkland was, of course, one of the greatest Colorado artists of all time and it makes sense that his influence would still be felt even decades after he died in 1981.
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On the floor and running up the walls are Jodie Roth Cooper’s welded steel sculptures. They take the form of skeletal structures and are evocative of geometric armatures — but also, oddly enough, seem to suggest figural forms in movement. This figurative reference is not literal with the sculptures themselves being completely comprised of joined and crossed straight lines with no direct depictions of the human body.
To make his work, Cooper uses thin metal rods that he joins according to instinct into overall shapes that tend to lean in one direction, with one resting against the wall while another, “Clinging Arch," hangs on it. They are simultaneously airy and substantial, which is an interesting combination of attributes if you think about it.
Kinesis, closes tomorrow, Saturday, September 12, at Mai Wyn Fine Art , 744 Santa Fe Drive. Call 893-4182 or go to maiwyn.com for more information.