Newcity Chicago, Some Abstraction Occurs

65GRAND,  Jan 11 - Feb 9, 2008

PAMELA JORDEN, JASMINE JUSTICE, WES SHERMAN, WENDY WHITE, "Some Abstraction Occurs," painting. 65Grand’s cozy space serves up work by four divergent painters: Pamela Jordan, Jasmine Justice, Wes Sherman and Wendy White. Each of their practices occurs within the ever-widening field of contemporary abstract painting. The show highlights the plurality of recent approaches to painting without pictures. While each of the artists has his or her own charms, Jasmine Justice’s hot paintings are the most inventive in the room. Ms. Justice’s spontaneous strokes of prefab color form textile-like patterns on the surface only to be changed through the addition of other eccentric shapes. The effect is quirky and fresh, with a hint of mischievousness. Pamela Jordan’s works are significantly more somber. Their darkened shapes collide with each other in an insistently flat world. Each blobby shape interacts uniquely with the others and has its own type of gesture-as-texture. Ms. Jordan’s paintings feel like a crowded street full of people bumping shoulders. Also on view are Wes Sherman’s tightly rendered cartographic abstractions inspired by American romantic painters such as Frederic Remington or Winslow Homer, and Wendy White’s urban-inspired acidic neon and black gastrula paintings with spray paint. "Some Abstraction Occurs" explores what it means to try to paint for paint’s sake in 2008. (Dan Gunn)