Texas Abstract: New Painting in the Nineties

Exhibition: Nov 18 – Dec 22, 1995

With rich surfaces and sensitivity inflected brushwork, Boccara’s paintings explore the interaction of geometry and gesture, of reason and automatism. Mancuso, Wallis and Wilcox are primarily monochrome painters. Mancuso’s works are characterized by concentric rings of paint that have been brushed or poured on to round canvases. Wallis applies black ink to smooth plywood surfaces to achieve shimmering gray tones. In Wilcox’s work, highly nuanced or intense color is conducive to quiet contemplation.

There is nothing quiet about the riotous displays of explosive forms and color that characterize Tileston’s and Lyon’s paintings. Tileston is interested in reviving the beautiful in art, while Lyon looks to Color Field painting and psychedelic culture for inspiration. Miller piles pattern on pattern in his quirky billboard-like abstractions. Also inspired by the urban landscape is Schwarz, whose paintings are bright and quick with jazzy patterns and peculiarly plastic colors. Dissimilar, but equally complex is Parazette’s palette of pinks, browns, yellows and greens in his newest paintings of enlarged clip art illustrations of paint splatters.

The most systematic artists in Texas Abstract are Rosmarin and Griffin. Rosmarin’s crisply delineated black and white paintings are based on a numerical system that provides a sense of order to what seems like complete improvisation. Griffin’s work is based on a system that determines the path of black paint pulled by squeegees across the surfaces of his canvases. Pomara also uses a squeegee to manipulate viscous oil enamel and varathane, which results in rich, seductive images.

The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue with a foreword by Linda Pace, an essay by the curator, twelve color plates, a checklist, and biographies and bibliographies of the artists.