Wisconsin-born artist Robert Thiele makes monochrome
painting-objects of canvas and paper mounted on wood. In this
elegant show, his works seem to coalesce with the
architecture of the gallery. The tall columns and curved walls
are echoed in the sleek lines and undulating forms of his large
shaped canvases. To each surface of these untitled works,
Thiele applies only one or two gracefully drawn or incised lines
that lend lightness and fragility to basically massive forms. His
colors are subdued and earthy, although one of the most
playful and sensual works on view is a smaller round
construction painted bright red.
In a nearly seven-foot-tall golden ocher work, which comprises
a wall-mounted rectangular slab five inches thick, two incised
ellipses stretch the height of the canvas. In spite of the work's
bulkiness, it conveys a feeling of openness and airiness.
Similarly, in a smaller, round work, the surface has been
divided in half, with the lower portion pierced, a la Lucio
Fontana. Here, the atmosphere literally penetrates the work.
And, as Carter Ratcliff says in the catalog essay for this show,
"the nuances of surface generate a mood,
a quality of weather."