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Marina Adams: What Are You Listening To?

In a room with fewer corners than one expects hang two new paintings by Marina Adams that mesmerize and bewilder. They are the same big size and the structures of their compositions are of a kind, but the surfaces tell different stories. When painters use form as a vehicle the tendency is to explore color relationships and textural variety. Sureness of form separates one voyager from another and by this measure Adams is amongst the masterful. Her paintings feel powered by the self-propelling energy of one for whom creation is also rejuvenation. Their stories are like those of the universe—movement, time, balance, and force are decisive qualities.

It took a little while to realize I’d been spellbound by the paintings, because it didn’t happen all at once. The effect on my body was cumulative. I suspect the exhibition’s layout, careful and precise, played some part. Spread through several rooms and multiple floors, the show included work in three scales. The smallest paintings—many in number—were executed in gouache and lined up edge to edge. These works have numbers for titles and the loose and light touch of someone warming up the connection between body and brush. Notably there are forms that occur in these works which one encounters over and again in the larger pieces yet to come...

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