Frances Barth

Susan Caldwell Gallery

Frances Barth’s paintings from her last exhibition inflated a rather personal geometry beyond a credible scale: various shapes, usually two separate triangles, occupied a large field of color, tending to look like objects in space. The shapes, the paint handling and particularly Barth’s somber slightly discordant colors were all emotionally convincing, but a little out of hand. Underneath their obvious seriousness was an edge of indulgence, something that kept the paintings disconnected and imprecise. In the six new paintings here, Barth has a new kind of control, and in two paintings in particular, it’s just the right amount.

The new paintings are smaller and the entire surface is divided; the shapes are locked to each other and to the canvas edge; everything seems taut and more thoroughly considered. Barth is not just staining, she is also working dry pigment into her surfaces; this

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