Well-known Boston painter Scott Hadfield returns to Barbara Krakow Gallery for his fifth one-person exhibition at the gallery.
The exhibition marks more than Hadfield’s return to the gallery; it also heralds his return to the expressionistic, geometric, and perceptual abstract painting problems that occupied the artist previous to the photographic explorations of self that dominated his recent work.
The show includes new medium-scale works of oil on shaped plywood panels–panels whose Braquian jigsaw-puzzle like internal shapes and generally bright, saturated colors and shining whites great viewers with exuberent, energetic, joyful first impressions: here and there the eye is drawn playfully across the lush, painterly surface by the jangly, non-hierarchically structured swaths of colors. Soon, however, this visual treat develops into another, in the form of the perceptual gaming Hadfield’s jigsaw-puzzle structures initiate. The artist subjects his neatly composed geometric pieces to discrete shifts, small geological rifts in the paintings’ surfaces that slowly transform the their implicit stability into an arena in which every juxtaposition of color and form poses a new question. Even the implied rectangular limits of painting aren’t spared–the artist’s subtle notches and more overt projections clearly push the visual discussion outside and beyond that reified rectangle. Colors, shapes, lines are continued or discontinued abruptly across these rift zones, to disappear or be continued elsewhere, in a seemingly endless perceptual archeology.