Hanging in the balance

By IAN PAIGE  |  March 11, 2009

"East Prom West Prom" shares a triumphant place with "Grange #38" at the head of the class. With LaPorte, there is always balance, and in the case of this promenade portrait, there is a dialectical conflict here between an implied stasis (the gestural lines of architecture) and implied motion (the turbulent brushstrokes and unstoppable drips). As burnt colors swirl as windy sky and running colors form geological canyons in the canvas, the viewer is provided with the faint pastels of sloping roofs and doorways. There is no weight to the structures, more of a force field of gestural line containing the emotional windswept underpainting.

Here and in "Grange #38," the building up of media and its consequent removal is fundamentally sculptural — not just an exercise in composition or color, but a physical delivery of a pictorial state. It is in this milieu that LaPorte, moving fully beyond the habits of illustration, achieves a mode of pure painting.

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

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