New York

Laura Shechter

Green Mountain Gallery

Laura Shechter’s clearly painted still lifes, landscapes, and buildings are again an approach to the surface of the canvas which says these are pictures, self-consciously mapped out and filled in. Everything is drawn out as composition first and then colored in locally with clear chromatic hues. (Her pictures have the look of some Italian paintings of the ’40s.) When she deals with still life problems of object relationships in space and shadow as subject matter, she either ignores the complexity of actual light in shadow areas or denies the solidity or space of the objects from which the shadows are cast. Her simplicity of composition seems at first related to Sheeler and the Precisionists, but is found on further observation to be a thin approach to dealing with what appear to be art problems for art problems’ sake. Hence, no viable space or image, only pictures which could have stayed in the studio.

Her small, light and poetic views of buildings in Israel do give the viewer a sense of her personal involvement. The groupings are read as several bands of motif (trees, buildings, trees, sky) modulated individually and overlapped one behind the other to give the sense of real light and actual space as in First Century Pompeian fresco or Lorenzetti’s “Government” frescoes. These few paintings show a personal approach to viewing the complexities of an actual space with trees and buildings in it and trying to portray the sense of the shifts, overlaps, and rhythmical decorative variations of vertical and horizontal which best represents both the theoretical and actual structure of a form of government. These paintings are a form of metaphorical social realism and it will be interesting to see what she does with this approach in the future.

Donald Butkovich