The Women Part II” at Peter Marcelle Gallery, 2411 Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY 11932

I used to tally how many women artists formed part of a museum collection, or the number included in a gallery exhibition.  My goal was not to fill quotas but simply to get a sense of how well represented my gender was in the art world. “Women Part II” at Peter Marcelle Gallery removes the challenge of spotting the female components; in fact, having no overarching curatorial theme beyond 'women' (all of the East End), the exhibit imposes focus on individual artworks, the selection, quality and placement.

"Phalarope" by Roisin Bateman, 2012. Pastel on paper, 39.5 x 48 inches. Courtesy Peter Marcelle Gallery.

Seventeen artists are included, some with multiple works, nonetheless the installation is clean and not overcrowded.  Small and large pieces, for the most part, are given equal prominence, though there are artworks that would benefit from being moved or removed altogether.

Roisin Bateman's explosive tangles of pastel on paper Phalarope and Lindsey Nobel's canvas State of Energy face the viewer upon entering the gallery and set the tone for this primarily abstract show.

Circulating right, drawn by Terri Hyland’s rather menacing, and therefore appealing, neon Untitled painting that anchors a main wall, one encounters Nobel's second piece, Liquidune I, a 14 x 11 inch acrylic on canvas tucked into the corner. It has a webbed texture that provides dimension and recalls sea foam, but this white on white minimal piece can be overlooked due to placement. Moreover, it seems more representative of the artist's work than the larger canvas where, in this instance, the idea of organic or technological networks is not as apparent to me.

There are pleasant surprises with this exhibit, which includes work from artists that may be better known for a different style or medium. Marilyn Church’s Moonlit is a strong representation of her work in abstraction, less known to me than her figurative work.  One can appreciate the construction of this picture space as parallel to her rigorous depictions of court scenes. Here, she places a punctuation mark of thick impasto, yellow and white paint just off center to balance the dynamic diagonal swing of the composition that may have a hint of a figure in it.

"Phoenix I" by Jane Martin. Oil, mixed media on linen, 42 x 42 inches. Courtesy Peter Marcelle Gallery.

Jane Martin’s recent return to painting is displayed in two powerful atmospheric pieces, each aptly titled Force Majeure XVIII and Phoenix I. Persons familiar with her video stills may compare how she transmits a similar sense of the sublime in very distinct mediums and styles.

Phoenix I has a quiet explosiveness, the underlying fire visible at top subdued by the wash of blue that dominates the surface. The painting is divided by a light line down the middle that gives the impression of a diptych and brings a calming focus to the center of what is like a volcano at the brink of eruption.

Similarly calm on the surface are four works that form part of a captivating series by Rhia Hurt. These small, subtle, and somber constructions, part painting, part assemblage supported on panel, might have landscape references—they appear somewhat photographic also—but seem entirely abstract, if biographical and somewhat biological. Irregular edges and a floating mount add to their appeal as objects in space.

Amy Pilkington works on brass sheets and her Contemplation Panel 112 is again an example of painting being taken to another dimension. The texturing and layering apparent in this and many of the works on view incidentally make the artist's process an aspect of this show. Hints of aboriginal-style pointillism appear along the splashed turquoise blue patina surface of this work by the Australian native who is also a metalsmith.

The other artists in the show are Elaine Marinoff, Kryn Olsen, Asia Ingalls, Susan Lazarus Reimen, Barbara Press, Anne Seelbach, Dean Andrews, Nicole Parcher and Evan Zatti. There is also one sculpture by Barbara Pepper and a multiple by Ultra Violet.

Esperanza León

BASIC FACTS: Women Part IIopened on Feb 9 and remains on view through March 3. An opening reception is scheduled for Feb 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. Peter Marcelle Gallery is located at 2411 Main Street, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. www.petermarcellecontemporary.com

To see additional artworks in the exhibition, click here.

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