|Sam Duket||Shawn Gilheeney|
|Ernest Jolicoeur||Maria Napolitano|
|Lisa Perez||Ara Peterson|
|Masha Ryskin||Monica Shinn|
|Dan Talbot||Jason Travers|
Among the Breakage features recent paintings by ten Providence artists. As this sampling suggests, Providence’s creative communities are more akin to an archipelago than a single island of “regional style.” Work in this exhibition ranges from hard-edged abstraction to hybrid figurative landscapes and techniques that stretch the very definition of painting.
The show’s title is taken from The Dry Salvages, T.S. Eliot’s poem about a hazardous group of rocks off the New England coast, around which ship wreckage drifts. “Among the breakage” evokes both Providence’s post-industrial landscape and the ways in which its artists are creating anew amidst the wreckage of Modernist painting orthodoxy.
Perhaps due to the freedom afforded by working in the art world periphery, several of these artists are in dialogue with what Roberta Smith calls the “maverick branch” of painting, "constantly stretching the medium, extending it into installation art or questioning its status as a precious, high-skill commodity."
With roots in Minimalism and Op-Art, Ara Peterson’s modular sculpture-paintings create an effect reminiscent of geometric computer art, but are made through a labor-intensive, hand-painted process. Likewise, Sam Duket’s slick forms combine 3-dimensionality with optical illusions, confounding both flat and shaped surfaces, while Lisa Perez’s hand-painted forms float on the wall, themselves 2-dimensional, but activating the space behind