new-york

Betty Blayton, Souls Transcending, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 40 × 40".

Betty Blayton

Elizabeth Dee Gallery

Betty Blayton, Souls Transcending, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 40 × 40".

Ten circular canvases graced Elizabeth Dee’s upstairs annex in a jewel-box exhibition dedicated to Betty Blayton, the late abstract painter whose artistic achievements have been partially eclipsed by her roles as cofounder of New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem and as an advocate for African American artists. Housed at the original address of the museum she helped launch in 1968, and organized by independent curator Souleo, Blayton’s first solo show since her death in 2016 began to mend this imbalance. Works from the 1970s—heady, terrestrial abstractions turned out in spicy oranges, browns, and golds—ran hot and cold between aqueous pink and blue tondos made in this millennium. Of the former group, a standout was Forced Center Right, 1975, with its Martian topography of claret, umber, and copper strata. Of the latter group, there was Traveling Source Energies Dispersed,

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