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modART Show
at ilume GALLERIE through October 28th

modArt Show packs in the abstract art at illume GALLERIE. Take it from me, abstract
art is hard, incredibly difficult, if you want to make successful work that is meaningful
and beautiful without treading old ground or being plain decorative. There seems to
be a fine line from what is successful abstract art and art work that falls flat.
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The modArt Show has a nice grouping of successful works by artists Marilyn Biles, John Borys,
r mateo diago, Frankie Garcia, John Knott, Bonny Leibowitz, Carmen Menza, Michelle de
Metz, Christina Neuser, Gary Perrone, Nan Phillips, Steve Prachyl, Elle Schuster, Jerry Skibell
and Ron Radwanski. With such a wide range of abstract work, I guess the best way to
understand these artists is to start to make categories for their type of art. I will organize
the artists in categories of Object Abstraction, Color Field Abstraction, and Conceptual
Abstraction.
previous articles
by
Todd Camplin
Elle Shuster
John Knott - Clumsy
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Object Abstraction is the type of abstract art that implies a reference to an object or idea
of an object. Nan Phillips’ abstract sculptures play with defined lines and geometry. John
Borys uses lines to flow through the image. He skillfully leads the viewer around his image
while shifting color and design. Borys makes paintings, but the work feels that it could be
about drawing and the process of drawing. Frankie Carcia’s work reminds me of the
Amon Carter Museum show I saw of Fort Worth modern artists during the late 20th
century. He is really taking those ideas and running with them.
John Borys - Dancer
Steve Prachyl’s brushed metal looks like futuristic landscapes of line and space. The
simulated folds and shapes are memorizing. Jerry Skibell’s art looks like an arrangement
of undefined objects with a great deal of individual character or personality. I just find
Skibell’s work fun, but complex. Ron Radwanski’s overlapping lines are completely stylin’
with glow and effects that make his work the most object of the Object Abstractionist.
Radwanski has a kind of elegance and finesse that is rare for an abstract artist.

Color Field Abstraction is where the paint is the focus of the painting and the colors and
textures are often emphasized.  Both Michelle de Metz and Carmen Menza exemplify the
emphasis on texture like an emotional expression of the post-war abstract artists.  Marilyn
Biles is the most classical Color Field artists in the show. The paint seems to have flowed on
naturally and with great skill of color and composition. Christina Neuser’s cloudy, spiritual
paintings are both Object and Color Field. Maybe a little more Color Field, but it seems
she has achieved that “in between space” that every artist craves, because the artist
has a great many more questions in their work than answers.
Jerry Skibell - The Time Piece - Collage Drawing

Conceptual Abstraction is art that plays out the philosophical questions or ideas of art while
remaining ambiguous in meaning or structure. Elle Schuster makes glowing crystal jewelry that
feels like a High Modern sculptural piece. R Mateo Diago seems to channel the Conceptual
Artists of the 1960’s and 70’s, but he has a Graphic Design clean approach that gives the
work a very approachable feel. You want to read his little messages. His roots in Conceptual
Art run deep through his past work. You can see his investigation of ideas has been a life-long
pursuit. John Knott also plays in the object realm, but the ideas are completely abstract.
The objects have a sweat taste of shock, in the great tradition of art that challenging
everything you know, like the 1914 DADAs.
Nan Phillips - Geometrica
I would have liked to also review Color Field artist Bonny Leibowitz and Conceptual Abstract
artist Gary Perrone here, but since I have already given them glowing reviews for their work
in other shows, I will give these other artists a little equal time. Catch the show, which runs
through October 28th, with all these wonderful artists at illume GALLERIE and sees what
makes a mod.Artist.