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Review: Marna Shopoff, 'Structured Essence'

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Marna Shopoff, "The Bathtub"
  • Marna Shopoff, "The Bathtub"

Marna Shopoff is moving in an increasingly abstract direction these days, at least in comparison to the work she had on display back in April at the Harrison Center for the Arts’ Gallery #2, which focused on architectural subject matter.

That focus is still there, as in “The Bathtub” (mixed media) which depicts the original construction pit for the World Trade Center (although abstracted to the point you would never guess this reference by looking at it). Even more abstracted is the painting “Complementary Exchange,”, the title of which refers somewhat obliquely to the complementary colors used in its composition: orange and blue. Human forms are suggested under the layers of paint cover up what was once a depiction of an airport waiting lounge (based on a photo reference).

In the oil on canvas “The Ferry,” though, things are about as abstract as you can get, with its bare suggestion of shadowy patches and yellow streaks on a red canvas.

Because I'm enthusiastic about Shopoff’s work, I can manage to place "The Ferry" in the context of her other work. But I can’t help wonder: if I had seen a whole roomful of such paintings would I be so charitable? At any rate, I’m looking forward to Shopoff’s next show no matter what direction she goes in. Through Sept. 1 at Wug Laku's Studio and Garage

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