“Moorings” Joint Exhibit at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville
“MARINA”: This painting by Larry Mitnick is part of “Moorings,” his joint exhibition with Heather Barros, on view May 5 to June 5 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. An artist reception with Mitnick will be held on Saturday, May 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.
“Moorings,” featuring recent paintings by Heather Barros and Larry Mitnick, addresses connectedness on several levels. In the exhibition, on view May 5 through June 5 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville, both artists use lines to visually tie a set of abstract shapes to something else. These imagined shapes are buoyant; fast lines secure them. Barros’ elements may be anchored to an unseen ground, while Mitnick’s shapes are often bound to companion travelers. Movement is implied even if the motion is constrained, so the paintings suggest a tethered kinesis.
Mitnick’s new paintings build upon his previous work. Floating, geometric shapes are layered upon one another. His translucent application of color likens acrylic paint to paper collage. His forms are painstakingly precise, both in geometry as well as in placement, yet his compositions are not contrived. They retain the crucial, subtle suggestion of randomness. That is their life’s breath. “I avoid centers,” he said, regarding that randomness. “I like to use the edges of my compositions to suggest multiple points of focus, both near and far.” And, in this show, taught, horizontal lines attach one grouping of shapes to another.
“KITE 3”: This work by Heather Barros is featured in “Moorings,” her joint exhibition with Larrt Mitnick, on view May 5 to June 5 at Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville. An artist reception with Barros will be held on Saturday, June 4 from 1 to 4 p.m.
For Barros, abstract “Moorings” are a departure from her representational paintings. She is a master of oil and pastel landscapes, often glowing with atmospheric light, depicting settings a viewer can easily enter. Five of her paintings in this show are a foray into the world of abstraction. In these, she too paints imagined geometric shapes. The shapes are layered upon one another, like Mitnick’s, but her use of color differs. Her colors are sensitive to context. Behind her abstractions are atmospheric skies. The nuanced colors of her floating shapes reflect the colors of their respective settings. Tying these abstract shapes to Mitnick’s, and the theme of the show, is a thin, barely visible line stretching from her shapes to an implied, sometimes off-canvas ground. Unlike Mitnick’s, her shapes flex and her mooring lines bow. It is easy to see Barros’ abstractions as a quasi-realistic depiction of kites dancing in the wind.
Specifically for this show, these two artists ‘moored’ themselves to each other. Each was inspired by, and borrowed something from, the other’s work. Just as Barros “lifted” Mitnick’s abstractions, Larry Mitnick “borrowed” Heather Barros’ atmospheric backgrounds. In his own way, the tonal gradations behind Mitnick’s abstractions are suggestive of the enveloping settings Barros is best known for.
Artists’ Gallery is located at 18 Bridge Street in Lambertville. Gallery hours Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Receptions are scheduled with Mitnick on Saturday, May 7 from 1 to 4 p.m., and with Barros on Saturday, June 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit lambertvillearts.com.