Grayhaven Motel hosts monthly art exhibits, currently features painter Rafael Lino | Ithaca


ITHACA, NY — Some of my regular readers might ponder: Why devote so a lot attention, week immediately after 7 days, to the seemingly marginal and esoteric genre of abstract portray? Why, when one could be a part of the crowd in celebrating Ithaca’s populist artists like Alice Muhlback (who showed lately at The Gallery at South Hill) or Ryan B. Curtis — who has a pop-up gallery currently downtown? Why when one could laud the chops of area traditionalists like Brian Keeler, William Benson, or, more compelling by a fantastic measure, Carlton Manzano? Why when a single could cheer, uncritically or in a spirit of ironic indulgence, the tutorial-hipster nexus that joins Cornell and Ithaca Higher education to the nearby Diy underground?

A appropriate respond to would have to have an essay of its own. Suffice it to say listed here that portray possesses a language of its own and that summary painting, when finished properly, focuses that language into a loaded and concentrated poetry. This is a painting for folks who adore portray, who are inclined to delve underneath storytelling and “relevance” — to grasp methods in which colours and shapes can connect human indicating.

Final week, I wrote about the get the job done of New York Town painter Ellen Weider, which remains on check out (by way of May well 28) at Corners Gallery. An intriguing — and unanticipated — enhance to her perform opened last Friday at the Grayhaven Motel, which hosts regular monthly exhibitions and other cultural gatherings. Rafael Lino, a Connecticut painter with local connections, offers “Now and Again,” a series of acrylic on panel paintings. The display stays up as a result of the end of the month.

Filling the trendy but homely most important prevalent room within the Grayhaven’s workplace constructing, these domestically scaled challenging-edge paintings have a little something of a pastiche character. Richly multi-hued and impeccably crafted, Lino’s summary pieces listed here most ordinarily mix floral or amoeba-like “biomorphic” kinds with a sampling from the artist’s geometric lexicon: boxes, diagonals, zig-zags, x’s and v’s. Subtle overlapping and brush texture include heft to these fairly cartoony kinds and preparations — a thing dropped if a person does not look at these paintings in the flesh.

Unusual for an ambitious artist of these days, Lino statements no specific further indicating for these paintings. My watch is that a portray has its personal intentions, rather apart from people of the artist. An artist’s inarticulacy does not issue — or isn’t even welcome — when the portray itself “speaks.” This kind of is the scenario right here.

“Inside Out,” one particular of the more substantial items right here at 18’’ x 24,” reveals Lino’s work at its most deliriously joyful. From a drab grey-inexperienced history, a vibrant, branching turquoise line meanders like a maze. Contained within: a riot of petal-like types, often reliable, often subtly translucent. Deep, saturated reds, blues, yellows and pinks commingle with pale blue and warm grey. With no lessening the get the job done to any precise, narrow interpretation, the suggestion is of animate lifestyle — regardless of whether leaves, blossoms, or animal bodies — contained or even imprisoned but nevertheless bursting light and lifestyle.

As hung, two bigger, sq. format items (24” x 24”) act as bookends for the exhibit. “Grid (yellow)” and the intentionally incredibly identical “Grid (blue)” remember game boards with their specific grid of squares — every marked with a crisp “x” — and exact left/ideal symmetry. As elsewhere in Lino’s operate, shiny, vibrant borders, in this article echoing the paintings’ general rigidity, act as each contours and “figures” in their have appropriate, standing out over the fray.

In other places, Lino’s strategy of hanging paired, linked parts aspect-by-facet assists give the display a unique coherence and rhythm that enlarges upon what every single of the items do separately.

Overlapping amoeboid designs overlay broken, stick-like diagonals in five parts from Lino’s “Forms” collection. If a person seems closely, 1 can see that the previous do not solely obscure the latter, which pop out as if embossed.

“Now and Again” demonstrates geometric abstraction’s continued ability for satisfaction and profundity. As nicely, it features a reminder of the electrical power of Ithaca’s far more out-of-the-way art venues to provide shock and obstacle. In conjunction with other recent and new artwork(s) venues like The Relaxation, The Downstairs, The Cherry Gallery, and The Soil Manufacturing unit, it gives a rebuke to those people who would complain about the paucity of the city’s alternatives to see or exhibit perform.

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