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MORDANTLY FUNNY Marro’s Donkey With an Updo.
The goth psychedelic pop seen here — the house style of the underground screenprinting scene affiliated with Dirt Palace and Fort Thunder — continues to be one of the major Providence styles. Another is abstract painting, often inflected with the feeling of urban decay. Some prominent artists in that group are featured in "We are going to make some big decisions in our little world," a good five-man pop-up show organized by Shawn Gilheeney at 1 Sims Avenue, Providence, until about May 14.

Buck Hastings's Forest Floor #20 (Joni Mitchell) is a big abstraction painted with quick, doodley dashes and squiggles in grayed camouflage greens, yellows, and browns. Their purposeful offhandedness can bring to mind the deadpan paint-by-number realism of Neil Welliver's Maine forest scenes, but even more chill.

Gilheeney carves and burns wood panels and then scrapes on paint in compositions that can look like charred, collapsing ruins of buildings or pure abstractions. One by one his techniques are interesting, but the sum of the parts don't quite spark.

Of faded springs past by Neal T. Walsh, who runs AS220's galleries, divides the panel so that the left half is lumpy, glossy root beer brown and the right is a waxy, matte pale green with all the brushstrokes running horizontally. Walsh's paintings are quiet and meditative compositions in the tradition of Rothko and Agnes Martin, in which every fine distinction is important.

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

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