For all these strengths, as a whole, the show's energy feels flat. Other work includes Monica Shinn's dreamy collections of images, Ernest Jolicoeur's blobby abstractions, Jason Travers's rectangles and stripes, Maria Napolitano's loosely painted collections of specimens, Masha Riskin's drippy, delicate hanging scrolls, and Dan Talbot's jumbled images of melting rooms and backyards like dissolving memories. The painting often feels muddy or muddled, and various Modernist styles get rehashed without much oomph.

Allison and Walsh note that the paintings range "from hard-edged abstraction to hybrid figurative landscapes," but it might have made for a more affecting show to concentrate more on abstraction and bring in folks like Buck Hastings and Walsh's own Rothko-esqe paintings. Or instead of mainly featuring abstraction, with some expressionist realism, the curators could have opened it up to all painting, and included works like Chris Forgues's visionary watercolors, Agustin Patino's magic realism, Xander Marro's psychedelic dioramas, Arley-Rose Torsone's old-timey hand-painted lettering.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I left the show feeling dubious about the state of Providence painting — but also feeling that this show is a sampler, and there's more to be seen.

Read Greg Cook's blog at

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Buck Hastings, Dan Talbot, Museums,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   A WORLD GONE WRONG  |  August 20, 2014
    The skies always seem threatening in Jennifer Hrabota Lesser’s paintings.
  •   OUTWARD AND INWARD  |  August 06, 2014
    A couple years or so back, Samuel Denoncour spent a year traveling alone across these United States.
  •   BEAUTY AND RUIN  |  July 30, 2014
    You’ve surely seen Providence painter Agustín Patiño’s work.
  •   EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES  |  July 23, 2014
    Somewhere around the 1950s, Florence Leif drastically changed her style.
  •   DOODLES, LIGHTS, AND DREAMS  |  July 16, 2014
    Gibson Prouty has found a muse — classic yellow pencils with pink erasers on the end.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK