Andrea Schwartz Gallery: Jamie Brunson and Catherine Dudley.
Review by Kathryn Arnold: A very worthwhile exhibition, the optical visual content of Jamie Brunson’s paintings contrasting sharply with the quiet collaged compositions of Catherine Dudley.
The stark color fields of Brunson play with monochromatic visual sensations of waves of color and one is reminded that color is in itself a field of energy with no substance (see this quick tutorial called The Basics of Light). Each field of color in her works radiates outward (maybe inward, depending on your point of view) and she has incorporated a pattern, often an organic element or a geometric element that, within Jamie’s hands, becomes a shifted subtle radiating moment in time. Colors range from brilliant high intensity hues to more subtle ranges of pastels (i.e. sherbet greens and icy blues). A must-see in person. The most mesmerizing views come from the larger works and in the blue ‘weave’– what has she done with the grid!!! Overall these works feel minimalist in nature (excepting the color) and her quoting of John’s Target and Noland’s circular forms (seen in Brunson’s Encircle) in this way is quite interesting.
By contrast, Catherine Dudley’s works are formal compositions that are bent upon allowing us to examine the relationships between shape, pattern, and line as they are together presented. The works on exhibition are smaller in size ranging from around 24″ x 18″ to as small as 8.5″ x 6″. The focus on detail and individual elements, often organized in asymmetrical relationships, is beautifully executed in Catherine’s repertoire. I personally am pleased to be able to view collages, which seem to be making a splash not just in the Bay Area but also in NYC (see Rip it Up and Start Again). Catherine’s collages seem to not be inspired by ‘laws of chance’ but more by the precise placement of shapes, referencing Motherwell. She appears to incorporate notebooks, papers and trims with patterns in such a way that, in a few, I feel I am sitting at a school desk, bored by the lecture and using that time to create. In “Picnic,” a nice play of drop shadows enhances the shallow depth. Lovely works– mixing precise with casual (casual in choice of collaged elements).