Vince Contarino, Better Half, 2009
Acrylic on canvas over panel, 36 x 48 inches
January 15 – February 6, 2010
532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel presents Vince Contarino in “Sweet Divide” a solo exhibition of new paintings which address the specific challenges faced by abstract artists working today. Contarino describes a finished or successful painting as possessed of a nice awkwardness, differentiating an atypical abstract painting from a great one. He is conscious of existing within the cultural context of abstraction, which adds to our understanding of emotion, logic, sensation, and concrete reality while at the same time existing at a critical distance from them.
The works are mostly spare, with negative space sparring for dominance with gestures that either fill up the middle distance or squirm in the margins. His colors are like the crystals mixing in a kaleidoscope, or the neon lights of Times Square. They express an emotive tonality, a setting of the background noise into which our eyes trace a liminal pathway of aesthetic joy. His space is both flat and transparent, his shapes hard and soft. These paintings do not establish a territory so much as hint at a direction away from the commonplace.