LINEARIS: Sabine Reckewell
FLUX: Dianne Romaine

FEBRUARY 4 - MARCH 19, 2011

 Dianne Romaine Flux 102, 2009 Acrylic on canvas 48 x 36 inches

Dianne Romaine Flux 102, 2009 Acrylic on canvas 48 x 36 inches


It is well worth revisiting the string, ribbon, wire and tape installations created by Sabine Reckewell between 1979 and 1981.  At the time, these “three-dimensional room-size drawings” represented a literal unraveling of the artist’s textile-based training as she responded to recently emerging Conceptualism and Minimalism.  Like the works of Sol Lewitt, Reckewell’s installations are created within well-defined parameters, which dictate their eventual forms.  Some installations utilize multiple strings of equal length stretched between adjacent walls at incrementally varying distances, creating a systematic change in the tension of each strand and resulting in a volumetric form.

Current-day Bay Area artists like Jana Flynn and Brian Caraway are beginning to explore the use of string to create architectural and sculptural volumes.  Perhaps the clarity of vision united with process, directness of means and simplicity of material is attractive to artists and viewers living in a hands-off, information-overload digital age.  It is exciting to see that Reckewell has not only helped open this territory of fiber-based architectural scale installation, but that she is also beginning to revisit it herself.  


Flux is an ongoing series of over one hundred acrylic paintings on canvas created since 2005 by the minimalist and process-driven artist Dianne Romaine.  The pared down imagery and palette is that of dark brown dots surrounded by halo-like stains of pigment.  Some compositions are heavily populated by dense clusters of smaller dots and are reminiscent of both microscopic biology and galactic occurrences.  Others feature dots so close up that the edges are not in view, making them comparatively monumental.  

Romaine’s wet on wet application of paint on canvas to achieve a staining effect recalls the work of Color Field painters Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler and their “soak stain” technique using heavily diluted oil paint on raw canvas.  Optical complexities, particularly in dense clusters of dots that seem to both recede deeply and flatten on the surface, recall Yayoi Kusama’s eye-bending patterns, though Romaine’s paintings maintain a more subdued, meditative tone.  The Flux paintings, like some paintings by Ross Bleckner, hint at infinity--an endless vast space in which repeated objects float, swirl and pulse.

Exhibition Gallery