Arts » Visual Arts

Review: Looking Forward: Paintings by Phil O'Malley



4 stars

Jewish Community Center of Indianapolis. In "Looking Forward From Just Beyond the Middle," (acrylic on canvas) you might miss the fact that you're eying a landscape if you just concentrate on the red and black circles in the middle of the painting. You need to step back and look just beyond the middle, as it were, to realize that this is a landscape in abstract expressionist drag. And from this perspective, you see rolling hills suggested by the rainbow spectrum of colors that flow across the canvas in waves. Over the vivid, unblended colors that suggest earth, water and green growing things, you can see billowing white clouds. O'Malley is a painter who has incorporated written work into his paintings in the past, but in"Sunset on the Lane," (oil on prepared paper) he plays with language in another way. Here he takes the metaphorical and makes it literal; he demonstrates in visual terms the imprecision of language. You can see the outline of a hill in the background beyond the streaks and scrapes of paint, suggestive of trees, that cut their way up and down the length of this painting (if Francis Bacon did landscapes, they might look like this). You can also see a crepuscular red sun that seems to be quite literally resting on a lane, not on the horizon line where it should be. Through Oct. 22; 317-251-9467,


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