• Ellen Phelan

    Dart Gallery

    That Ellen Phelan’s colored paintings can be reproduced so effortlessly in good black-and-white photographs only reinforces my recollection of them as light-emanating pictures. Complicated interminglings of light and dark, often compressed into small areas, retain legibility, perhaps even gain a kind of clarity in the change from oil paint on metal or canvas to sensitized paper. That sounds relatively easy and common, until I say that these are rigorously abstract works. But Phelan successfully resists any renovation of biomorphic abstraction or of the many cubisms in favor of what, for want of

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