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The Message in The Tantrum

Pink Rhythms
The Message In The Tantrum
Adele Becker Retrospective at Western New York Artists Group Gallery

Adele Becker’s paintings hover between abstract and representational. Some veer more in the one direction, some more in the other. But her work as a whole—as well as many or most of the individual works—has and have one foot in each camp.

Iris Series #9

A retrospective of her paintings is currently on view at the Western New York Artists Group Gallery. Featuring lovely work from the mid-1960s to the present, in oil on canvas, watercolors on paper, and watercolors and pastel crayon.

Including some huge semi-abstract views of flower gardens or evergreen greenery—Summer Garden, 1999; Iris Imagery, 1988; Winter Approaching, 1986—and some from her more abstract pattern art Baroque Series, from around 1983. A sense of Bernini in Baroque Series XV, not so much in Baroque Series XXV.

More severe abstraction still in a work called Landscape #3 from 1971, in the style and sensibility of Richard Diebenkorn.

And more representational bumblebee-eye-view watercolor and watercolor and pastel individual flower depictions, White Blossom and Japanese Iris and Yellow Orchid from the 1990s.

Some Turneresque watercolor and pastels mist limits of perceptibility works, Dark Passages from 1999 and Burgundy Field from 2011.

And poured-paint effect color field paintings. Silent Field from 1966.

One of the watercolors is called Windy Autumn. In predominant fall color yellows and browns, in a near chaos of paint strokes and dabs and spatter, it shows wind-battered trees losing leaves and small branches, and fruit into the bargain if this is an orchard not a woods. You can’t tell for sure in the gusty confusion and given the viewing distance and rapid-capture watercolor technique. But trees left and right, and in the center of the picture, a relative open space. Woods clearing or orchard pathway. Obscured by flying tree debris, but a light source of sorts amid the tempest darkness, and potential if not actual at the moment prospect of horizon.

The painting inspired a poem by George Grace, who writes, quoting in part:

The Adele Becker exhibit continues through October 2. The title of the exhibit is A Life’s Work.

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