“Paper Primitives” is almost exclusively a works-on-paper show, and considering Bart Exposito\'s reputation for taking a very hands-on approach to his paintings – that is to say, refraining from working and re-working them in Illustrator or the like – this particular investigation comes not a moment too soon. The pencil on paper studies, each no larger than 10 ½ x 8 ½ inches, are masterful architectural abstractions that provide a closer look at Exposito\'s deft touch and highly-developed personal language, one that evolved from a vocabulary of graphic imagery subtly reminiscent of skater graphics, into an oeuvre far less reducible. They\'re busier, these graphite drawings, than his \"more ambitious\" works - whether the larger acrylic and pastel on paper works that make up much of the rest of the show, or the much larger still acrylic and pastel paintings seen here last spring.
The viewer is left to consider whether these \"studies\" are edited down before being rendered large, or if instead Exposito is simply working out some ideas … or a little of both. Based on the larger pieces here, presumptions are inconclusive; either way, the sureness of hand in evidence is of a level that\'s not to be taken for granted. Two darker drawings here are particularly seductive, and the one painting, with a capital \"P,\" a 58\" square canvas containing a very dark inner oval, broken up by an arrangement of Exposito\'s signature slim curving arcs, is an intriguing development.