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at Mary Tomás Gallery
by Todd Camplin

When the Mary Tomás Gallery puts a show together, you know you are in for something a little
different than your ordinary group exhibition. Newly produced abstract art is the theme of this
show with wild mark-making across each canvas. The show also offers diverse perspectives from
artists that have a variety of backgrounds. This is not an uncommon approach for Mary Tomás
Gallery with their international artist network. However, with all the diversity in this exhibition,
each artist has some connection to Texas.
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Korean-American Chong Chu lives in the DFW area.  His abstract work doesn’t shy away from
negative space. He also has a keen understanding of positive space. Objects in the composition
seem to float into the clear spaces. These shapes combine to draw your eyes around the artwork.
With such a good grasp of composition, his students at Brookhaven College are very fortunate to
have him as a teacher.

Puerto Rican artist Juan Alberto Negroni is completing his MFA at SMU. He uses a flat color field
approach to painting with large areas of paint mixed with irregular lines and shapes. He uses light
airy colors that feel tropical. He also uses a combination of brushwork with his paint to make the
artworks keep your attention.
Ellen Soffer lives and works in Shreveport, Louisiana.  She has shown widely in Texas for 30 years in
various shows. Over those years her works have matured into this current body of paintings that
explodes with energy and color.  I feel that these are the most charged paintings of the show.
You can stand across the gallery and feel her paintings’ presence. So, you walk closer to the
works and you get a treat of thick paint flowing around the canvas like water currents. You
can tell that Soffer has reached a mastery of her practice that few other artists have achieved.

Thomas Zanz is a Michigan based artist that has also shown in Texas before. Zanz doesn’t leave
a single detail of his work left untouched by planning and forethought. A meticulous thinker in
his conceptual painting leaves a splash of mixed colors that look spontaneous, but even this is
an illusion. I think only a small part of the process is truly an unconscious effect. Even the
paintings have customized carrying cases.

Juan Negroni - El Bosque De LaJ 7
8.5 x 11 inches
All four artists make for a well rounded abstract show. Mary Tomás Gallery has organized an
exhibition that attests to the gallery’s sophistication in curating a good group show.  This
weekend is the last time you can see these works together. So, get there before May 6th
and celebrate abstract art.  
Chong Chu - Home2
Ellen Soffer Shimmer 78 Reflection
30x30 inches
Thomas Zanz - Happy Things Acrylic