Frank Lobdell

Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery

Frank Lobdell’s recent pictures suggest narration the way Australian bark paintings do, by spreading and tilting bits of pictorial incident to give a sense of elastic time. The widely stacked swatches of radiant colors mostly trued-up blues, blacks, greens, and thunderous yellows—perform as syntactical compartments that interlock emotionally, whatever their rationale. Their hues are like the perfumes of colors you once thought there were precise names for. Each painting could be the story of a particular day, from sunrise to midnight, and the soul’s mood swings within that span. To each localized color is fitted a specific linear sign—most prominently, a knobby, dark-contoured glyph that undergoes self-entanglement like a paroxysmal Tinker Toy. It’s a psycho-spiritual progress articulated as a dance diagram, with the kinetic twists of a contortionist’s tumbling act thrown in. Any catechism

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