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31.3.11

Spring Is Here -- It's Going to Be Alright

Well, I've survived my first full winter in the state of Vermont. It's not that we've experienced the largest snow falls in years: that I like, and the roads were clear enough for at least one bike ride a week. The light, the natural beauty, the light; only the appearance of the oil truck in your driveway will send shivers of winter up your spine.

But spring is upon us and a young man, not unlike myself, dreams of longer days, fresh colors to paint, and that sweet $10,000 carbon fiber road bike between his legs, meeyow!

I have in fact seen a few memorable shows lately, but with all the world events and spring popping out everywhere, I've focused on painting and long bike rides over writing. It may be the confluence of events, but I couldn't stop connecting, in my head, Pat Steir's recent shimmering paintings at Cheim & Read with Japanese gardens and the graphic depiction of rain showers common in woodblock prints.

There is something timely about walking into an exhibit of Steir's paintings while the world is in such chaos and uncertainty. Steir's embrace of uncertainty, with her method of pouring and splattering, confirms and gives great hope that the outcome can be one of great beauty and introspection. I needed that.

Another life-affirming moment came from Judith Linhares's Riptide series at Edward Thorp. Linhares has a wonderful and unique way of molding figures with juicy paint that borders on fluorescent. The characters that inhabit her fantastical environs, nude women, seem quite content to lounge and frolic about, even though there is danger, we are told -- a riptide, an unseen current, could change everything. But for now, why be a worrywart -- everybody in!

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