Painter Catherine Howe’s new work experiments with different methods and materials, all of which are a testament to her unbridled enthusiasm for the medium. Two of the seven works exhibited, almost all of which are indebted to both the imagery and quiet mournfulness of Dutch still-life painting, are “Reverse Paintings,” where swirling brushstrokes of blooms and vases in acrylic, marble dust, and oil-based ink are painted on the reverse side of polyester sheeting. The effect is soft and almost ghostly, more of a memory of a painting than a living, breathing one. Similarly, “Mica Painting (Geisha)” utilizes mica pigment suspended in acrylic resin to create a shimmering and pale surface upon which gesso floral forms droop and dance. Finally, there are three “Carborundum and Silver” paintings, created by scattering sparkling carborundum dust on undulating, mostly abstract shapes that Howe painted in a clear gel. Working with this essentially blind process, our heightened awareness of the elements of intuition, memory and automatism (one of the works ended up revealing cat and mouse forms, which she references in its title) lend gravitas to the eye-catching works (Von Lintel Gallery, Culver City).
Kristen Osborne-Bartucca