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Everything is Early
1997










Frequent Flyer
1997


   This show features what are perhaps the liveliest paintings that Alabama-born artist Richmond Burton has produced to date. While his large abstract compositions are still based on the grid, he has loosened up his brushwork so that his familiar leaf-like forms, wild colors and sweeping gestures now dominate the surfaces. The large canvas hanging near the gallery entrance, Everything is Early, suggests a tree laden with colorful leaves that cascade down and out of the picture plane. Swirling ovals of purple, blue and white play counterpoint to pink and white triangles outlined in bright yellow. Directly in the center are several purple oval shapes outlined in green -- they seem to hang in the air like avocados produced by this magical tree.

Burton's work forms a link in the chain of American painting that includes early Ab Ex, Lee Krasner, Norman Bluhm and younger abstractionists. Burton shows his painterly prowess -- and ambition -- in several of the largest works. In Frequent Flyer, an 8.5-by-12-foot canvas, the artist whips up a composition of such centrifugal force that, as the title suggests, it could indeed take flight.

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