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04 Dec 2020

Vital Presence: Fran O'Neill, Drew Lowenstein, Fran Shalom

1 GAP Gallery

Reviewed by Elizabeth Johnson

"Vital Presence," curated by David Cohen, recruits the divergent efforts of three abstract painters for playful conversation. Fran O'Neill's sheer, color-saturated rainbows bend and fold to resist canvas edges. They look as resilient as sedimentary rock imbued with hot taffy. Drew Lowenstein applies charcoal glyphs, colored fogs, and modernist tropes to canvas, describing bottomless depths. Fran Shalom tailors comic, patterned, amoeboid shapes. Wielding a paintbrush like scissors, she elicits mysterious, behind-the-scenes drama by deftly skirting concrete forms and meaning.

The paintings of "Vital Presence" coalesce as paired styles that heighten the uniqueness of the solitary third. Lowenstein's smudgy, dark, and centered Untitled sustains the cave-like sensations of O'Neill's Backed. Together, these two works elevate the satirical glee of Shalom's Reveal and Razor's Edge. Forming brief alliances that foster looking, "Vital Presence" supplies human warmth and camaraderie in a sprawling, chilly venue.

Exhibition Vital Presence: Fran O'Neill, Drew Lowenstein, Fran Shalom
Start date 02 Sep 2020
End date 06 Dec 2020
Presenter 1 GAP Gallery link
Venue 1 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY, USA map
Image Fran Shalom, Reveal, 2019, oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches, courtesy Fran Shalom and 1GAP Gallery

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