Alan G. Artner
January 21, 1999
"The new R. Duane Reed Gallery gives a first solo exhibition in Chicago to a young abstract painter, Kathryn Arnold, from Kansas City. She works with all-over patterns of soft color. Her weave of strokes and swipes generally is loose but often accommodates broad tighter sections that coalesce into central horizontal bars or a grid.
On occasion, a canvas might suggest a landscape through a few rudimentary signposts and autumnal color. But more typically the artist seems engaged in giving rigorous geometrical structures a sensual presence.
Her major piece in this line is "100!" a
100-by-100-inch square made from 100 abutting canvases. Each small component is itself a fully realized painting that Arnold integrates into a larger pattern, again loosely woven except near its center, which becomes clotted and dense.
The artist uses her full arsenal here, including splashes of metallic paint and varnish applied in low-relief patterns with apparently, a utensil used for cake icing. The underlying grid is obliterated as surely as trellises in a grape arbor, with as relaxed a decorative effect.
Review of exhibition at R Duane Reed Gallery, Chicago. Location: 215 Huron St.