Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Rocco Valadez: "Expecting" - Galerie Penumbra - May 4, 2005 - 3 1/2 stars

This third exhibition mounted by GP solidifies the abstract expressionistic viewpoint that defines the gallery's aesthetic. The consistency, quality and representation of new, but accomplished local artists are coups local galleries in their infancy generally have been unable to accomplish. No tripping over trial and error here as there is a clear sense of artistic vision and purpose. Valadez, an art, painting and photography teacher at Lawrence Central, created his "Expecting" series as a response to the anticipation of parenthood. A multitude of pointed emotional contemplations in response to impending parenthood are acted out in freeform scapes of deep atmospheric colors that portray a great sense of mood. They are calm, optimistic, with smooth, lightly washed applications of deep, rich acrylic paints. There is no gesture apparent, just effect. "Cumbrous," a 48-by 60-inch painting, for example, is sublime with sophisticated manipulations of color (deep reds barely seeping through deep teal-green) and an occasional, perfectly positioned scratched line used to harmonize the compositional balance. To call these works simple would be grossly inaccurate. Through May 18, 2005; 317-508-8043. -Mary Lee Pappas

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