by Robert Sievert
As previously documented in these pages The abstract expressionist (Hans
Hoffman) concern with plastic space and the vision of flattened space has
given rise to a whole generation of artists who interpret nature according to
these precepts. It is sort of a reversal of history. The discovery of abstraction
in nature by early modernists, the move into abstraction, now is the basis of
a new style.(See HANS HOFFMAN ISSUE (Issue #3) of artezine.com)
Hearne Pardee is one of these artists. His recent show at the Bowery Gallery (November 3-22, 2000), demonstrates his discipline, commitment, and search for personal style. This exhibit can be seen as the documentation of a working process that has expression in collages, drawings and painting.
Most outstanding was a painting entitled "MASONVILLE" in which a yellow field is tilted backward on a green plane. Beyond the field is a distant landscape of a rural horizon broken by two towers. Although modest in size this picture has a large feeling. The deep space achieved here is the result of careful structuring.
The painting arrives at a conclusion that is solid. A small green area in the center of the picture is held in space and achieves that sought after condition of dual authority: both going back into the distance and sitting squarely on the frontal plane. The resulting feeling is emblematic and powerful.
Also in the show there were a number of pencil studies from nature, scenes of rural life, wooded hills with buildings, seen through a maze of trees. He seems to like spatial complexity and is very good with finding it in his direct studies. He then sometimes takes these studies and gives them a twist into abstraction, adding areas of color (rectangles of color paper) that further take up the dialogue of spatial movement in and out.
Pardee is clearly at his best in his paintings where academics and rules of spatial analysis disappear into the struggle of making a finished image.
Copyright © Robert Sievert 2001