Offramp Gallery = 1702 Lincoln Avenue = Pasadena, CA 91103 = 626.298.6931
Quinton Bemiller: Chance & Choice review
September, 2009 issue of THE Magazine
Choice and Chance
1702 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena
(626) 298-6931 www.offrampgallery.com
Choice and Chance
Quinton Bemiller is an industrious artist whose work with process and color documents a disciplined practice. His show Choice and Chance consisting of forty-two paintings of varying dimensions, gave evidence of his ambition and range as an artist.
The title of the show refers to Bemiller's obsession with balancing order and chaos in abstract imagery, a pleasant modernist trope. Works like Nocturne appear as colorful contemporary versions of Robert Motherwell's painting in the almost zen-like quality Bemiller achieves in the balance established on the picture plane.
For the most part, Bemiller's acrylic paintings evoke an obsession with beauty and fantasy rather than with the existential reality that preoccupied abstract expressionists such as Motherwell. In the massive painting The Aftermath Bemiller seems to emphasize the contradiction between his historical precedents and his contemporary use of color, creating a dramatically tense stage-setting of sorts. The Aftermath is sewn together by abstract poles, no doubt another reference to Abstract Expressionism (e.g. Pollock's Blue Poles). Bemiller covers his poles with a kind of storm cloud whose luminosity seems to offer hope for the future of abstract painting.
Some of the order that Bemiller refers to in the title Choice and Chance is evidenced by his repeated use of parallel horizontal lines, bringing a structure to his images and bringing to mind the shadows cast by Venetian blinds in interior architecture. An especially lovely series of drawings features the careful placement of horizontal stripes clouded by the accidental wash and bleed pattern of India ink. The clouding again yields an especially fine though somewhat ominous image: Bemiller seems to know that the history of abstract painting hangs heavily over his head.
by Mary Anna Pomonis
Fictional Spaces V, 2008, India ink on paper, 14" x 20"