Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dancing dots in the woodpile

50 Orange St., New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Gerald Saladyga: "9th Square Light"

Situated in the Artspace Lounge just to the left of the entrance, Gerald Saladyga’s “9th Square Light” (acrylic, wood and paper) is an extension of his signature style into the sculptural/installation medium.

There are two distinct parts to the work. The inner wall bounding the work is painted black and covered with a grid of 11''x14'' sketchbook pages tacked on with pushpins. Each page is painted over in acrylic, the engaging background color fields peppered with a profusion of paint dots (as if the night sky was filled up with miniature colored planets rather than twinkling stars). Some of these small paintings are riven by little rivers where an absence of dots creates a suggestive open space. Typical of Saladyga’s art, there is a delight in color—purple dots on deep blue, pink on orange-ish-yellow, light green on burnished black and tan.

Extending this portion of the work into the third dimension are a dozen long painted two-by-fours. Planted on the floor about a foot from the base of the wall, they lean against the top of the wall. They share with the paintings on paper Saladyga’s affinity for coarse brush work around the edges. But unlike the paintings, they are adorned with solid colors and no dots, a different color for each plane of the board.

The boards act almost as conductors, transferring the energy of the paintings through the floor and into two or three dozen more boards stacked in the middle of the floor. These are painted first with the color fields and then with the dancing dots. There are several sets of boards painted in similar patterns. This has the effect of giving the eye cues with which to knit the helter skelter of the pile together into a visual coherence.

Saladyga’s works have a tendency to enliven any space in which they are situated and that is certainly the case here. “9th Square Light” is on view through Sept. 16.


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