One city, many angles

By IAN PAIGE  |  December 17, 2008

Andre LaPorte is the show-stealer of an exhibition with too many artists to be entirely interesting because of his ability to detect and communicate something intangible about Portland beyond the city's geometries. "Port Nights Quartet" is an interconnected group of four panels representing, in the artist's words, "the high intensity night life being enjoyed by the young of all ages in the OLD PORT'S bawdy BOITES." Feeling explodes out of his kinetic layers without any need for direct representation. This ability is further evidenced in "City #5," which features an abstract skyline with the buildings reduced to their essential forms. Bright reds and blues are endowed humanity by way of abrasions revealing the texture of the canvas. Large white compositional fields become structural as spackled, heavy daubs mixed with the earthy grime of the workshop. The shapes are groundless but the street view is implied. Composition is perfectly balanced as the tall skyscraper encompassing the vertical aspect of the work is deflected from remaining in the limelight by eye-catching circle shapes seemingly burned into the piece. The intentionality of the work has the effortless air of good design with the emotional warmth of the empathetic eye, and is the prize of the show by a long shot.

Ian Paige can be reached at ianpaige@gmail.com.

"4TH BIENNIAL PORTLAND SHOW" through January 3, 2009 | at Greenhut Galleries, 146 Middle St, Portland | 207.772.2693

< prev  1  |  2  | 
Related: State of the arts, A look at Portland's graffiti history, Who’s running for mayor? (Yes, already!), More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Portland, Painting, Visual Arts,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY IAN PAIGE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   CONVERSATION PIECE  |  April 29, 2009
    Leon Johnson explains his trans-historical-post-colonial-dinner-wait-what?!
  •   GROWING PAINS  |  April 08, 2009
    Although no one piece in this spartan biennial is lacking in value, the collective effect is one destined to get lost in the Rolodex.
  •   STATE OF THE ARTS  |  April 01, 2009
    In Portland, and around Southern Maine, developing trends hold promise for our changing, but still cantankerously distinct, artistic character to act as a new kind of cultural reflection.
  •   HANGING IN THE BALANCE  |  March 11, 2009
    Septuagenarian Andre LaPorte may be a veteran artist but, relative to his long career, he is a new painter.
  •   ALTERED STATES  |  March 04, 2009
    Talking drugs, Zen, and painting with art critic Ken Johnson

 See all articles by: IAN PAIGE