March 26 - April 24, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Green Light, an exhibition of new paintings and gouaches by Rebecca Shore. This is the artist’s fifth show with CvsD. In 2017, Shore’s family sold the 18th century farmhouse in Southern Vermont where she’d grown up, a verdant land of forests and hayfields, and at the same time the artist found herself immersed in the color green, its modulations and relationships. This fascination manifested in a new motif – an emerald gemstone that became the focal point of many subsequent works. Playing with light sources and degrees of saturation, losing herself in a maze of color relativity triangulations that would thrill Josef Albers, Shore began to explore invented facets and translucency without genuflecting to the shiny lure of photorealism. The many surfaces of her gem paintings suggest possible and impossible objects, tweaking the codes of illusionistic image-making, freewheeling with those codes, imagining new modalities of the facet. Indeed, once into the process, the artist reached back to her initial interest in images of gemstones, which dates to the 1990s, when she encountered a hand-painted sign for a diamond rock concrete cutter. This image became part of Shore’s enormous and quite systematic bank of photographic resource materials, which also includes photographs of gravestones from the cemetery in the same Vermont town, some of which are transformed into pedestal shapes and framing elements in the new paintings. Since the introduction of the gemstones, Shore has brought together these and several other strands drawn from the last six years of her work. She began to allow these quite different ideas – some of them involving competing or nearly antagonistic visual systems – to operate in the same space, living together in a single piece. Working in gouache on paper or in acrylic or casein on linen, Shore’s attention to the materials and techniques of painting has continued with the same unerring level of intensity, meanwhile the imagery has shifted and hybridized. Recent work integrates drapery, urns, basins, and frames – all extant as the locus of a more singular set of propositions in previous work – together with the gemstones (the aforementioned emeralds, some invented blue gems, and a lone ruby), less of a synthesis than a challenge for the viewer to hold multiple image systems in mind simultaneously. The most recent works further up the ante by introducing a floor plane into the picture, bright blue sky above, suggesting a room or garden terrace, sometimes with curtains obscuring something in the background or a cast iron gate in the fore. This intimation of deeper atmospheric space jostles with the flat planarity of framing devices or the shallow space suggested by the emeralds. Coupled with the vibratory energy of her color choices, this cultivation of imagistic heterogeneity relates back to Shore’s lifelong fascination with paintings of the Italian Quattrocento in which relative physical scale is not always used and the viewer travels through time and space. Like the Sienese painters she admires, Shore’s new work points at the miraculous by creatively disregarding the supposed parameters of spatial continuity and its attendant system of production.