“Grey Band” and “Green Band” (15.25 x 78 inches each) run nearly the length of Gallery 60six’s entryway embracing you as you enter Jenny Bloomfield’s show Pull. All muted atmospherics and subtle palette both paintings have as a relaxed final gesture a long squeegee pull down their length.
One of the first things to notice is the exposed folds on the corners of the canvases neatly done this moment of casual process humanizes the work and places it in an intermittently unresolved but accessible state. “Tehachapi 1” hangs just to the right as you enter the larger room a bright underpainting coyly peeks out from under later toned down layers. One of those layers a blue tinted wash changes places with a yellowish grey-green brush stroke that curiously should float on top of the wash but doesn’t. This unresolved visual hierarchy activates the surface of the painting, drawing you into how the artist has seen what she then painted.
The work is strongest when it references process and the act of making becomes synonymous with the act of viewing. “Green Untitled” (72 x 60 inches) has four red brown horizontal bands scraped onto the eponymous green, the subtle complimentary contrast causes the bands to repel each other hovering and rolling up the discrete space of the canvas. Conversely the grey in “Grey Untitled” (72 x 60 inches) has been pulled repeatedly into three yellow bands creating small shimmering oscillations. In ‘Upstream” (72 x 60 inches) the nearly ubiquitous Paynes Grey color starts to bunch up, releasing the tension built into the calm surfaces of the other paintings. As the brush strokes draw themselves together two-thirds of the way up the surface all of the suspicious calm in the surrounding work finds release in this one single knot.
While Bloomfield draws inspiration from nature, the work interjects muted tones and scraped down surfaces between the viewer and the saturated underpaintings. The work transcends being another representation of the “sublime awe” of nature and becomes a way the process of painting continues to shift the subject to an investigation of seeing.
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-Contributed by Matthew Marchand