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Terence La Noue
at Bentley Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
Recommendation by Deborah Ross

Continuing through February 26, 2011

For Terence La Noue, it's not enough to fill a canvas with paint; the canvas has to be saturated with paint, put into molds, air-dried, cut into shards, scraped, drawn on, glued, layered with other media and finally puzzled back together again. One of the works here took eleven years to complete, as La Noue delved into his exercise of deconstruction and reconstruction. But the outcome when an artist takes his time and lets an abstract piece evolve is a pleasure, offering the viewer wildly different interpretations. The texture and dimensionality of this work veers from the thick and warped canvases that hang an inch away from the wall, to the sawed lines of multimedia works on plywood. Small elements pop out of the picture or alternatively sink into it.

An Arizona artist and a world traveler, La Noue often borrows from the landscapes he visits when titling his pieces. "Ancient and Lost Rivers: Magala" (executed from 1999 to 2010) features loose shapes in blue and lilac along with earthy colors. Strips of canvas form a fan shape reminiscent of a river delta. In this and related pieces, the top line of the canvas runs straight across, but the other three borders are ragged and uneven, as if they had been determined by the flow of water. Le Noue's newest piece is "Kronos" (94 x 84 inches), which invites thoughts of how time changes landscape. It mixes mosaics and amoeba-like shapes while letting magenta strips of canvas appear to dangle from a "wood" frame. The 108-inch-wide, semi-circular "Cappadochia: Highlands" is like the cross-section of a mountain, with an array of textures, colors and scraped lines, as well as a jagged ridge of white mountains skimming across the top. Viewers might get a little lost in their own travels through La Noue's work but, of course, it really is the journey and not the destination that matters.

Bentley Gallery

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