Voice Choices

Shaun O’Dell: By Cloud

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Shaun O’Dell begins with strong graphic designs on paper painted in voluptuous blues, giddy magentas, and other striking hues, which he leavens with expressive blacks reminiscent of Robert Motherwell’s “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” paintings. And like that abstract-expressionist master, O’Dell is an accomplished collagist, cutting his paper pieces into dynamic forms that he then glues onto canvas to create doubly bold paintings. In fishMUSEUM (2014), a delicate network of coagulated blue lines partially veils a larger black shape, conveying the sense of a new and unexpected image emerging from an original that has been lost in some hopelessly garbled transmission. Although resolutely done by hand, these images are redolent of pixels and scan lines, of ghosts in forgotten machines. MurderedBYnewSUNS (2013) shimmers like heat waves in the desert, the airbrushed orange strokes and bold yellow arcs imparting the verve of old-school neon lighting up the Vegas strip. The idiosyncratic titles are of a piece with O’Dell’s elusive forms, which coalesce into something like mirages of abstraction — ungraspable but tantalizing.

Jan. 23-31, 2015