February 6 – March 1, 2014    BRAVE NEW WORLD | Currents in Contemporary Abstraction

Works by: Tim BavingtonSophia Dixon DilloPeter FoxWilliam MetcalfDavid RyanPatrick Wilson and Eric Zammitt.


Scott Richards Contemporary Art presents BRAVE NEW WORLD, a group exhibition that highlights a diverse group of artists who are exploring the elements of abstraction.  An opening cocktail reception will take place on Thursday, February 6, 5:30-7:30 pm. The exhibition continues through March 1.

Using a variety of media, the artists in this exhibition challenge conventional ideas of shape, color, surface and meaning. Obsessively worked surfaces—with dense texture or pure, flat color; high-gloss polish or mysterious, translucent layers—challenge the viewer’s expectations of contemporary media.  All but one of the artists (Peter Fox) in the exhibition live on the West Coast, where they are part of a tradition of abstraction in response to the pervasive light of the area.

Tim BavingtonPatrick Wilson and Peter Fox take the time-honored art of painting to new levels.  Tim Bavington approaches abstraction via the mathematical and sensual attributes of music. Pure musical tonalities and tempo are translated by the artist into corresponding colors in rhythmic patterns. The ethereal canvases of Patrick Wilson are derived from the urban western landscape.  The scenes are stripped down to cropped geometric areas of luminously complex color, which is layered on the surface in thin, almost transparent coats.  New York artist Peter Fox creates thickly textured paintings, with surfaces reminiscent of cake frosting.  The artist is known for his use of large-scale text; however, in his current series, words have given way to entirely abstract, almost pointillist, tonal color fields.

David RyanWilliam MetcalfEric Zammitt and Sophia Dixon Dillo manipulate their materials even further, to create works that cross the line to become sculptural objects.  In the case of David Ryan, irregularly shaped pieces of fiberboard are cut to fit a pre-designed pattern, then carefully painted and layered back together.  The evocative shapes are as playful as puffy cartoon clouds or thought bubbles, but the color is bold and intense.  William Metcalf uses translucent painted fabric stretched over a convex frame to create an optical illusion.  His wall-mounted works appear to float in the air above the surface, and bring to mind the minimalist works of Donald Judd.  The wall constructions of Eric Zammitt are made from thousands of colored bits of acrylic plastic, laminated into cohesive panels through an intensive process. Smooth as glass, the surfaces are a mesmerizing array of pulsating colors, which shift and shimmer as the light and vantage point changes.  Sophia Dixon Dillo’s monochromatic reflective boxes appear to glow from within.   By composing everyday objects on mirrors behind sandblasted glass, the objects undergo a metamorphosis into something more magical, with open-ended meanings.