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MULTIPLE MOODS Paschke’s Blue Green Sikri.

At Candita Clayton Gallery (999 Main St, Suite 105, Pawtucket, through October 13), Allison Paschke of Providence marshals geometry and vivid color into abstract Modernist icons. Some feature round gold shapes, like catenaries or smiling cartoon mouths, floating in fields of pale apricot. One painting offers a pair of rounded shapes, like a sideways "us," reaching toward the composition's center to nearly kiss. The energy in the painting comes from the tension in the narrow gap between the two curves.

Pink & Green System is a series of orange rectangles and quadrilaterals that look like squares receding in space. The play of the orange shapes against the green edges — which for now we'll call background — give the composition an in-and-out dynamic, like an accordion fold, but the resolute flatness of shapes keeps pulling back to the flat surface.

It's the stately Modernist geometric play of someone like Ellsworth Kelly rendered in the pleasing hues of a Buddhist mandala or medieval Catholic icons or traditional geometric Indian and Persian decoration. (Some of Paschke's titles reference old Persian and Indian cities.) She taps into the way traditional Eurasian religious art creates glowing effects to evoke a sense of spirit or holiness.

Paschke paints with gouache, ink, epoxy resin, and acrylic gels built up into slabs that resemble jewels or gummy candies or stained glass. In her painting Blue Green Sikri, made with the same materials on a mirror, a turquoise blue round arch shape on the left is paired with two bottle green quadrilaterals on the right that might suggest an open book. The mirror beneath the translucent colors gives them a shimmery, watery sheen. Depending on where you stand, the green turns from yellow and emerald — like a shifting mood.

Read Greg Cook's blog at  gregcookland.com/journal.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Ellsworth Kelly, Allison Paschke, Monica Shinn,  More more >
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