Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Fred E. Cooney – Continental Towers – Aug. 28, 2002 – 3 1/2 stars

Beautifully composed and soft-colored plein aire paintings accomplished on Fred Cooney's travels over the last year to such places as Savannah, Ga., and Camden, Maine, make up a beautiful body of sound work. Light determines his warm and vibrant colors, which are set off by the powdery smooth, seamless gold frames holding his work. They are a perfect match for his broad color scheme, which is doubly bolstered by the flat and dense pumpkin-colored walls of the first floor, downtown Meridian Street, exhibit space. Everything, even the piano player at the opening reception, enhanced the art. Color and structural elements (boats, the Atlantic, buildings and dare I mention the Wal-Mart sign?) harmoniously meld. Scenes are segmented into tight, succinct compositions that convey an expert craft. Strokes of color, coherently applied, contrast just enough to create an easy sense of spacial continuity. If all this is too complicated for you, trust me, they are very pretty and would look great in your dinng room. Cooney, known for the Mass. Ave. anchor Agio, studied at Herron and was a medical illustrator with the United States Navy. –Mary Lee Pappas

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