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Sound Waves: The Paintings of Ann Walsh

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Walter Darby Bannard writes about the work of Ann Walsh on the occasion of her exhibition at Alexander/Heath Contemporary, Roanoke, Virginia, on view through November 28, 2015.

Bannard writes: "Dematerialized color is a physical impossibility and monocolor – a simple one-colored surface – is an ineffective cliché and by now overdone, so the prerequisite for a 'color artist' such as Olitski or Walsh, or perhaps Morris Louis, who threw color against the edge to keep it pure and unmixed, is to contrive a work that insists on color as the primary expressive vehicle as such. Olitski did it with low-variation sprayed surfaces and edge-drawing that proclaims the work as a painting, and Walsh does it by putting forward uninterrupted expanses of pure color in carefully adjusted combination. Recently she has introduced mild curvature into an originally rectilinear format, eliminating real-world intimations of stability, and turning structural dynamism into casual delicacy – less a 'tough'visualization of lateral tension than the sudden beauty of a windblown curtain."

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