'The New Abstractionists' – Walter Wickiser
The title of this little show of recent work by Michael Pinchera, Ron Clark, James Jenkins and Peter Ross was somewhat misleading. Certainly each of these artists makes pictures that fit within the vast terrain referred to as "abstract painting," but each artist's work adhered to a different abstract tradition. This in fact, was what made the exhibition so absorbing.
Pinchera, a gifted colorist, is the least abstract of the four artists. His acrylic paintings on board begin where legible images start to break down, rather like Kandinsky's "Improvisations." At one end of Pinchera's art is "Fairy Tale"(2008), which features a small luminous figure observing something mysterious amid groups of trees, while at the other is the almost entirely abstract "Healing Journey" (2007).
In contrast, there is no hint of representation in Clark's uncompromising oils on canvas. Each of his pictures here was three feet square and featured a blotchy concentration of saturated color against a contrasting background. Overall intensity is clearly more important to him than complexity of detail.
Jenkins and Hoss both juggle gesture and geometry, although their results are quite different. Jenkins's pictures have a try-anything-once exuberance: shapes curl and twist against one another, color is garish, lines are scribbled in. In comparison, Hoss – the best painter in this show – is far more contemplative. He employs vestigial grids, brushy arc motifs, a tightly restrained palette of black, white, grays, and an odd lemon yellow, and cut-up and collage techniques to explore the vitality at the cusp of balance and chaos. Although his art, like that of the other painters here, was devoid of novelty, it reflected a genuine assurance.
– Robert Ayers