The buzz of creativity

By GREG COOK  |  June 11, 2013

DETACHED Hastings's 'Gillian Welch.'

Shawn Gilheeney and Buck Hastings make paintings, in part, about how we paint in their show “Indeterminate Growth” at Candita Clayton Gallery (999 Main St, Pawtucket, through July 1). You might call Gilheeney a post-industrial expressionist. He paints and burns images of decaying factory buildings, some overgrown by vegetation, into plywood and then surrounds them with drips and cloudy washes of black and white paint. In one image, the industrial structure is depicted in lines of rust across a gray metal plate. The results don’t quite spark yet, but you can feel the combustibility building in his combination of rusty, brawny ruins and raw paint.

Hastings offers color-washed, realist portraits of people with far-away stares and then abstract compositions, like his painting Gillian Welch, a sort of camouflage pattern of brown, yellow, blue, and gray squiggles on a field of olive-gray. He applies the paint in his abstractions with a deliberate deadpan flatness, sort of like someone who’d only seen brushy abstractions in reproduction. I tend to be inclined toward more emotional stuff, but I recognize a force in his careful, resolute detachment.

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