new-york

Marianne Stikas

John Davis Gallery

Marianne Stikas succeeds in making the most elemental, and thus the most significant, kind of abstract paintings—the kind that literally get down to the architecture of ideas and feelings that provides the basis for pictorial elaboration.

It is not an exaggeration to claim that Stikas is an artist who knows the lay of pictorial space backward and forward. Notable in these paintings is the clear description of the illusionistic underpinnings of pictorialism. At issue throughout these dynamic compositions is the play of receding and advancing colored form—the relationship of surface to depth.

One of the small-format works entitled In Between II, 1990, reveals Stikas’ ability to charge abstract structures with poetic associations—to use size and scale to stimulate an intimate and spontaneous response on the part of the viewer. Composed of rippling striations of luminous color and cascading

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