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Indepth Arts News:

"Rebecca Purdum Paintings and On the Edge, a video by Miguel Angel Rios"
2006-11-28 until 2006-12-22
Tilton Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Two solo exhibitions, Rebecca Purdum Paintings and On the Edge, a video by Miguel Angel Rios, will be on view at the Tilton Gallery from November 28 - December 22. The exhibitions feature Purdum’s large-scale abstract paintings from the past three years, and Rios’s most recent video installation.The Tilton Gallery is located at Eight East 76 Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 – 6 and Monday by appointment.

Rebecca Purdum’s paintings are shifting fields of color that suggest atmospheric space filled with light. The movement in Purdum’s paintings is subtle, often nearly imperceptible, flowing from dark to light and from formless to form. Color moves in micro-tonal steps, with small strokes of individual hues massing to create clouds of colored light. Paradoxically, the artist paints with a real physical directness, usually using her gloved hands to apply marks and layers of pigment. Purdum’s recent paintings emphasize the material reality of paint, with oil color building up a textural presence on the canvas.

Purdum’s art is meditative – the work of reiterative practice, and of realizing the contours of one’s own consciousness. Each of Purdum’s paintings is a kind of existential space of perpetual investigation, emerging awareness, and of hard-won grace. As Michael Kimmelman wrote, “It is almost impossible not to like Rebecca Purdum’s…works, so beautifully painted are they and so tinged with what seems an evanescent light.” The artist has exhibited her paintings at the Tilton Gallery since 1985. Her work was has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Corcoran Gallery of Art.

On the Edge, a two-channel video by Miguel Angel Rios, is based on the popular Mexican playground game, El Juego del Topo. The installation immerses the audience with the frenetic activity and sound of the whirling of spinning tops. In this work, teams of black and white tops compete for a dominance of white grid in a dark field. Rios has observed that, "My idea was to use this game as a metaphor for our times. In this film, I express the terrible moments in which we are living, where we can feel like life is worth nothing. This is also about competition, power, violence and chaos. The viewer can identify with the powerful or the weak one. It is about war."

As with Rios’ previous work (sculpture and mixed media installations) the artist focuses on the European conquest of Latin America. On the Edge follows Don’t Look for Me You Won’t Find Me, a 2003 video in which the artist encounters the visionary power of the Mexican desert. Discovery of the Amazon, a collaborative piece done with Sergio Vega explored the apocryphal battle of an early explorer with the “amazons”, indigenous women-warriors. Rios was born in Argentina and divides his time between Mexico City and New York. He has shown his work extensively in America and Europe, with recent solo exhibitions at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) and the Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and group exhibitions at the Shaghai Doulon Museum of Modern Art, the Miami Art Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum.

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