Joanne Freeman
Lohin Geduld
In a tribute to abstraction of the nonobjective kind, Joanne Freeman and Kim Uchiyama, two New York-based painters, reprised the discourse of modernism from a contemporary point of view. Their mission is not utopian, sublime, heroic, or polemical; they are more than happy to avoid the lofty, reveling instead in the simply good-to-look-at, which in the end is not so simple.

Freeman and Uchiyama, riffing on the primary colors, tossed the notion of the grid and the implied grid back and forth in a light hearted rally of bent-out-of shape rectangles against stripes, figure ground tension against flatness, vertical against horizontal, as well as architectonic against landscape.

Freeman's spirited paintings recall the transition from the Cubism of 20th century urban spaces to the more undulant free forms of the 21st, her surprisingly colored syncopations suggesting torqued skyscrapers, stained glass windows, schematized figures, illegible text, or pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, all jostled together on rectangular supports or shaped canvases echoing the contours of the internal forms.

Uchiyama was represented by easel size canvases of mostly blue bands ranging in shade from very pale to almost black, buoyed by whites and zinged by single bands of yellow and red. Her new, small paintiings, however are the real gems, Liltingly composed with just the touch of the hand evident, they feature translucent ribbons of many-splendored confectionery colors applied over a ground of delicate pink that adds an irresistable glow to each distinctive striation, as if it is warmed by sunlight. Altogether, the show offered a delightful, well balanced, and informative colloquy on painting, one that was all the more persuasive for the artists' very evident love of the medium.
Lilly Wei