Graphic Design and Catalogue of Exhibition
Curatorial Statment

Curatorial Statment

The art in Tangents: Abstract and Geometric Art in Northeast Ohio is a collection of work created by a group of diverse and prolific artists. They encode abstraction as a part of their artistic language. This includes forays into: color, optical interplay, mathematics, space, surface, texture, process, and the built environment. These artists are further unified by the use of non-representational forms that are powerful yet pragmatic upholding traditions of abstract art in the region.

The idea for this exhibition grew out of a call to action. In the wake of the COVID 19 Pandemic most regional artworks appeared to explore literal pictorial space in painting and sculpture. Questions circulated about who in the area is making design dominant, non-representational work? Why is making abstract work still important? And how can the process of being an abstract artist lead to greater manifestations of perception? This exhibition aims to excite a deeper interest in geometric art and abstraction in the area and inspire more artists to open up their studio practice.

The nine artists in Tangents share many intersections but all explore their individual pursuits in geometry and abstraction. For example, Susan Squires explores the excavation and preservation of the surface under dense layers of encaustic wax. Mark Keffer uses a series of processes to add and subtract text, symbols, and references to circuitry. Andrew Reach, trained as an architect, uses various computer programs to explore geometry, rhumbas combinations and mathematical constraints in both two and three dimensions. Catherine Lentini uses analog drawing techniques to arrive at the optical interplay in her geometric forms. Gianna Commito allows relationships between forms and layering techniques to crystalize into new geometric spaces. Ed Raffel employs a sculptural approach with mirrors, optical interplay, and material intersecting various styles, tastes and perceptions. David Louis Cintron uses a more automatic, layered and traditional approach in his paintings to fragment forms and time. Mark Howard is inspired by the collage like aesthetic of arrangement in using various shapes, textures, and bold colors in his paintings. All of these artists are connected through abstraction but are divergent in their practice.

The process of making abstract art occupies a rare space. It combines ways of thinking and making that interact with the temporal; sometimes abstraction is minimal and simplified, sometimes optical, and sometimes part of a collaged or combined language. It slows down or abandons the use of literal shapes and forms, often including ad hoc arrangement and disparate elements to engage the viewer in a space where philosophical questions prevail. The work has the power to share the pictorial space of color and surface with sensoriality, metaphor, and resonance.