Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hot & cool at City Gallery

City Gallery
994 State St., New Haven, (203) 782-2489
Freddi Elton: Hot/Medium/Cool
Through Jan. 31, 2009.

While Freddi Elton has previously shown abstract photographic works in City Gallery shows, her Hot/Medium/Cool solo show focuses on printmaking (a "cool" medium) and encaustic (a "hot" medium). It is actually a return to printmaking for Elton; her photographic images were influenced by her prior printmaking efforts.

Elton's abstractions are well within the stylistic approach—or, perhaps sensibility is a more accurate term—that loosely characterizes the City Gallery set of artists. Elton layers textures and shapes, many geometrical, and further teases compositions with gestural marks.

The works on the walls alternate between sets of monoprints and series of encaustic compositions. In both cases there is obvious care and concern for the surface of the works. Not surprisingly, in the case of the encaustics—a paint-infused beeswax—the surface has a more plastic presence. With monoprints, the attention to surface is manifested by the way the inks clot on the paper fibers. For example, in the monoprint "Morn" the simple arrangement of shapes is enlivened by the way the understated colors (muted pastel yellow and blue, black) soaking into the paper. The blue of the "sky" and the yellow of the "ground" float like dust motes in a beam of light.

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