By Priscilla Frank via huffingtonpost.com
HuffPost Arts&Culture’s Haiku Reviews is a monthly feature where invited critics review exhibitions and performances in short form. Some will be in the traditional haiku form of 5x7x5 syllables, others might be a sonnet and some might be more free-form. This month, Laurence Vittes and Peter Frank give their quick takes on performing and visual arts.
Allison Stewart’s new paintings, as always, abstract plant forms – or, more to the point, abstract from plant forms. The forms themselves tend to retain their recognizability; indeed, Stewart renders them with particular care and precision, bringing out their natural color and textures even when rendered with painterly brio. Around these botanical renderings, building off their humid colors, bent or straight stems, and almost comical flowers, the New Orleans-based artist strews painterly marks and drips and atmospheric scumblings. These areas of abstract elucidation ultimately predominate in Stewart’s pictures, but they inhere so much of their sources’ natural vitality that the whole canvas is charged with an energy that bridges the “real” and the “painted.” There is finally no real distinction between those two states – a condition many organic abstractionists seek but only a few achieve as regularly, and as deftly, as Stewart. – Peter Frank