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  • 3


    Complete archive, 1999-present


      Madeline Weinrib
    Form and Flux

    In Madeline Weinrib's organic lyricism, inventive abstract structures imply evolution.


    The timing was fortuitous for a small but exhilarating show of works on paper by Madeline Weinrib, in the bright, waning days of summer. Weinrib presented gouache studies that are steeped in natural form, yet at the same time are pure invention. There is a sense of the garden in her layering of shapes and colors, as though the viewer is at eye level, peering through flora and fauna. That is not to say that Weinrib's paintings are in any way literal, but that the ultimate effect is one of organic lyricism and vibrant harmonies.

    Works by: Madeline Weinrib.
    The Gallery, 125 Main Street, Sag Harbor through September 15th

    Weinrib's approach to her paintings on paper is improvisational; basic structures are introduced, themes developed and revised, a resolution is intimated, but the artist seems not particularly concerned about finishing them off. On the contrary, Weinrib's most successful paintings are the ones that seem in flux, as though they are still in a process of evolution. One senses that the artist is conscious that within each work is a unique potential for exploration, and that the demands of each work determines its final appearance.

    The first four paintings on display here (all works are untitled and numbered) are the simplest in structure and color. In Untitled #1, a central area of white is surrounded by a gray field and a webbing of gold. Is that a bee that seems to hovers over its hive, and are those a beetle and a lady bug nearby? Are they instead just shapes or shadows of other forms just outside our field of vision? Shells and flowers, or their apparitions, are floating in a grayish, aqueous space in Untitled # 2. Typical of this body of work, Weinrib's color is subtle but suffused with warm tones that suggest a late day or morning light.

      Madeline Weinrib
    Untitled #'s 3 and 4 are more minimal; in the former black pod-like flowers are suspended over a network of gold in a deceptively simple but concise composition. More complex is # 4, which depicts gold flowers superimposed on the black pods. A bold contrast of color and shape sets off an optical duel for our attention. The tumbling forms that resemble shells and stones in Untitled # 6 look as if they could be scattered on a beach at low tide. Weinrib's use of positive and negative form, going back and forth between form and space, is particularly well applied here.

    A bold contrast of color and shape sets off an optical duel for our attention.  

    The rich color and tonal variety in Untitled # 7 — # 9 are examples of Weinrib's painting at its most lively. The celebratory melange of reds in # 7, the pulsating use of white accenting a field of red, dappled with orange and green in #8, and the quiet pink fan shape in the pale green lawn of # 10, surrounded by flowers and crawling creatures, are all in a state of agitation or flux.

    Weinrib has clear links with artists like Terry Winters in her use of organic form, but her approach to surface and formal construction are all her own. It can be reassuring to see an artist who takes such pleasure in the vicissitudes of paint, especially at a time when the world around us is so full of its own theatrical glories.

    SEPTEMBER 12, 2005

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  • spins and wins   from Zeb Verowitz, Oct 9, 2005

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