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''Six Rising Stars''
LewAllen Galleries, Scottsdale, Arizona
Recommendation by Deborah Ross

Timothy Schmitz, ''Echo,'' 2013, oil and ground marble on canvas over panel, 33 1/2 by 48''.


Continuing through July 20, 2013


The divergent methods and materials that painters can summon in the name of abstract art are pleasingly sampled in “Six Rising Stars,” a grouping together of six promising emerging artists. Perhaps the most audacious use of materials is by Timothy Schmitz, who combines ground marble and oil on panels to create minimalist statements on color and texture that belie his elaborate technique. “Echo,” for instance, evokes a waterfall, with its studied pattern of lines and droplets.


Also displaying impressive technique is Tracy Rocca, whose ethereal panels are created through numerous thin layers of color on polyester, applied until the surface is ultra-smooth and glossy. In “Glow,” as in her other works on display, the brain wants to study the purples, magentas and golds on the painting’s edge but is ultimately drawn into the flash of light at the center.


Keith Johnston works with encaustic on wood panels, playing with light and dark shapes to create lighthearted, semi-abstract images. Connie Connally’s abstract works are inspired by the California coastline, and Margaret Fitzgerald impresses with her pentimento technique. Lastly, Jesse Blanchard’s work embraces architectural references and bold colors in its collage of fabric, stitching, paper and paint.

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