ARTisSpectrum | Volume 29 | artisspectrum.com
103
P
atricia Neden
’s evocative oil abstracts explore nature in its wildest,
most vital state. Neden’s primary inspiration is the landscape around
her: the skies, forests, stones, plains, and waters of Canada. She is a
close observer of form, presenting sweeping lands with an awareness
of details such as a single tuft of grass or branch of a tree. Neden’s
framing can be so tight that it becomes a method of abstraction in
itself, as when the silhouette of a flower is cropped out and only the
pattern of undulating pinks across the petals remains.
In her purest abstractions, she evokes the warmth of sunlight or the
scent of a plant through a tangle of paint dabs. The rise and fall of
the thick oil paint on the painting’s surface is a crucial element in
Neden’s construction of a world on canvas. But her sharpest and most
enthralling observations are those of color; this is an artist who can
extract sky blue from a stone wall and lime green from a ray of sunlight,
and still manage to create something wholly real.
Patricia Neden was born in Lachine, Quebec and continues to live and
work in Canada. She also silkscreens her paintings and has practiced
etching and linocut, among other techniques.
Rockface Oil on Canvas 60” x 40”
Patricia Neden
A
rt’s function as a connective tissue bringing disparate cultures
together is crucial to the artistic practice of Pakistani-born,
Houston-based painter
Fahim Somani
. His technique finds him mixing
the visual lexicon of traditional Islamic calligraphy with a contemporary
sensibility to create works that are at once reverent and fresh. His
fluency in calligraphic technique allows him to experiment with acrylic
paints and other materials. He creates bold-hued, thickly-layered
compositions that alternately focus attention on his elegant lettering,
or let the text slip in and out of the surrounding abstract forms. This
flexibility in style and palette is also apparent in Somani’s calligraphy
itself, which ranges from ornate and classical to sparse, modern and
geometric.
The artist’s mastery of the traditional Islamic characters helps make
the paintings accessible to well-versed and unfamiliar viewers alike. He
manages to focus our attention on the text while allowing it to function
as a potentially abstract component of each work. This use of characters
as something both legible and pictorial, which evokes Basquiat, lets
Somani explore different typographic styles while also permitting the
calligraphy to occasionally dissolve into a field of abstract lines and
colors. Thus, his paintings address the dual viewership attracted to his
work’s form and its content.
Script 1 Acrylic & Resin on Canvas 40” x 30”
Fahim Somani
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