Vince Contarino

January 14 – February 6, 2010

“Sweet Divide” a series of paintings which address the specific challenges faced by abstract artists working today. Describing a finished or successful painting as possessed of a nice awkwardness, differentiating an atypical abstract painting from a great one, conscious of existing within the cultural context of abstraction, which adds to our understanding of emotion, logic, sensation, and concrete reality while at the same time existing at a critical distance from them. The paintings are mostly spare, with negative space sparring for dominance with gestures that either fill up the middle distance or squirm in the margins. The colors are like the crystals mixing in a kaleidoscope, or the neon lights of Times Square. They express an emotive tonality, a setting of the background noise into which our eyes trace a liminal pathway of esthetic joy.  The space is both flat and transparent, the shapes hard and soft. These paintings do not establish a territory so much as hint at a direction away from the commonplace.