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Dorothy Goode
at Butters Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Continuing through May 29, 2010

In "Paintings I wrote on in 2009," Dorothy Goode introduces a new element to her visual vocabulary: graphite scrawls that spell out formal messages both cryptic and self-revelatory. The texts, for the most part, are obscured behind layers of impasto, lending the works an electric tension between expression and concealment. As she has in previous bodies of work, Goode favors a palette of bold reds, blues, oranges, and greens, which pop against the panels' white grounds.  Her curvilinear gestures, vaguely biomorphic, cluster in the center of each composition, as if tugged by centripetal force.

More hyperkinetic and dense than the work in her previous 2008 outing, "Homage to the Graffiti I Didn't See in NY," the painter now cedes Zen-like elegance to maximalist furor. Whereas the surfaces in "Homage..." had an egg tempera-like translucence, the current surfaces are more painterly and exhibit a greater variety of application, at times recalling the squeegee-happy marbling of Gerhard Richter's paintings in the vein of Abstract Expressionism. Happily buoyant, Goode's panels escape the gravity of their historical antecedents, thanks in large part to the graphite doodles undergirding her arcing gestures. This mark-making  lends a confessional, Gen-Y quality that feels thoroughly contemporary to the age of blogs and Facebook. The artist channels the Zeitgeist's uneasy duet between insularity and extroversion.

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