For this show, the Ohio-born artist Sharon Horvath presents resplendent, expansive paintings in which she sets up an unusual spatial construct. Like aerial maps of some faraway Pacific island territory, these compositions seem to be made according to a scientific analysis, but the results are disorienting and contradictory.
In several large paintings, such as Step, Trap, elongated ovals float in areas of nearly untouched canvas. Inside these "islands" are delicately colored and lightly etched grids, circles and other geometric shapes. The diagrammatic application of the forms implies a specific reading, yet, as Mark Strand says in a brief statement for the show's announcement card, the islands are places of "significance whose meaning may or may not have been assigned...Here the pictorial is a mode of inquiry..."
A small canvas, As You Are, is one of the most intriguing. Dominating the surface is a finely incised grid in gray, pale green and red. A blobby gray form covers the top portion of the grid. It suggests a clump of hair, just as a white blob at the bottom part of the grid hints at an article of clothing. Somehow, the expected landscape reference has evolved into an abstract figure.
Sharon Horvath, Sept. 10-Oct. 10, 1998, at Tibor de Nagy, 724 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10019.