New York

Rande Barke

Gabrielle Bryers Gallery

For his solo show in New York, painter Rande Barke presented a series of works that allowed the audience to revel in the suggestive side of abstraction.Each painting measured 32 by 25 inches; some were executed in oil wash on paper mounted on linen and others were painted directly on linen. Though both the format and method used were straightforward,the paintings were immediately engaging drawing the viewer in.Installed at chest height here, they appeared to relate to the body. On an unconscious level, then, this put the viewer in closer proximity to them, an intimacy underscored by the startling directness of the imagery itself.

Barke covers each canvas with dense layers of paint, and so deft is his control of the oil medium that the compositions seem to take shape before our eyes, naturally—that is, almost by magic—from the set of palpable qualities that he has chosen to emphasize.

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