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Gregg Renfrow:
Colour Field Paintings

Elizabeth Leach Gallery
Portland OR Feb 5-28

Gregg Renfrow – Yellow-Green with Red-Violet
Gregg Renfrow, Yellow-Green with Red-Violet (2002), polymer and pigment
on cast acrylic [Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR, Feb 5-28]

Since his graduation from the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 1970’s, California artist Gregg Renfrow has committed himself to working with properties of light and space as his artistic media. Artistic thought during the 1960s, when Renfrow's beliefs were formed, was concerned with de-objectifying traditional notions of painting in favour of a “higher truth”. This zen-like attitude literally radiates from his serene, almost weightless compositions.

Gregg Renfrow – Magenta/Blue Violet
Gregg Renfrow, Magenta/Blue Violet (2003), polymer and pigment on cast acrylic [Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR, Feb 5-28]

In the current exhibit, Renfrow continues his exploration of light, colour and matter with an uncompromised conviction. The sophisticated colour field paintings demonstrate his mastery over his chosen media of polymers and pigment on cast acrylic. He creates his illusionistic pieces by pouring thin, uninterrupted washes of colour onto acrylic supports and allowing them to set without any obvious manipulation. Each completed panel is mounted slightly away from the wall so that the filtering light illuminates the floating swatches of colour.At first impression, Renfrow’s purist objectives may seem overly simplistic and void of meaning. But the artist allows himself to be a catalyst for what is a naturally occurring phenomenon: colour as a reflection or physical interruption of light, manifested in form. Renfrow’s intent becomes clear and humbling as viewers become intimately aware of sublime realities told through the powerful aesthetics of radiant colour.

Allyn Cantor

 Wed, Feb 4, 2004