Imagining Space


Imagining Space

featuring: Heather Barros and Larry Mitnick
This show runs from April 8, 2021 until May 2, 2021

Imagining Space: Heather Barros and Larry Mitnick

Imagining space is different from imagining spaces. Heather Barros and Larry Mitnick understand that "spaces" are constrained by boundaries. A meadow may be circumscribed by a row of trees, and a room by its walls. In imagining "space" these two artists seek to invert the perspective. Both ponder space independent of the space's periphery. They use forms we understand to prescribe a space we may not. That space can be vast. That space can be twisted; it can be atmospheric. So, for these artists and in very different ways, the path through space leads to abstraction.

Heather Barros
oil on canvas

Heather Barros imagines space in paintings of interiors and landscapes. She understands that spatial orientation requires an anchor point. She seemingly provides these for us, but upon close inspection her anchors are often unmoored. She may offer a window through which we can see, but the view is empty. If not bare canvas, the paint has been wiped to near-translucency. Detail is sacrificed, information is lost, but volume survives. Other times it is unclear if we are looking at or through water, through fog, or at sheer emptiness. "Viewers don't quite know where they stand," she says of this work. "But like moths attracted to light, I hope to lure their gaze to a certain distance. They may be looking at paint, but I want them to see and imagine space."

Larry Mitnick: Side Order Larry Mitnick
"Side Order"
acrylic on canvas

Larry Mitnick's paintings are more overtly abstract. He overlays shapes and colors upon one another to create textured compositions with little correlation to the world we normally perceive. We project upon these works our own imagined sense of space. We see layered elements. Color, value, and varying degrees of transparency are employed to suggest depth. Acknowledgment of depth is this artist's lure. His hook, what captivates the viewer, is an enigma in its distillation. Exactly which shape is in front of what? How can a color be in front of one element and not behind another? These paintings pose uneasy questions. Their beauty is that they assert their own sense of balance and order.