Out & About

August 23, 2012

Abstraction cubed

WESTPORT — A triad of abstraction closes the summer season at the Atea Ring Gallery in Westport.

New work by Frank Owen, paintings by Rebecca Purdum and charcoal drawings and mixed-media sculpture by Charles Ramsburg will be on exhibit through Sept. 8.


Purdum’s six oil paintings date from 2004 to the present.

“It’s the kind of painting that comes out of the process of painting itself,” said Purdum, who lives in Ripton, Vt. “They are not about any specific idea.

“A friend of mine once told me he could hear my paintings before he actually saw them. They seem to evoke sound to him rather than a visual experience. Obviously, there is a visual experience, and many people see many different things in them.”

This grouping is about the light outside and time.

“The element of time is most important in these works,” Purdum said. “They’re layered, and it took a while to paint them. They take time to look at, too. It’s not an immediate experience. It’s something that grows on you the longer you spend time with them.”

She titles her works after the fact. Some titles are phrases overheard. Some titles are reminders when she painted them.

“‘Dreamless,’ it’s a black painting and does have a kind of nocturnal quality to it. Just opposite it is the largest painting, ‘Same Sun.’ That painting works as a nice contrast to ‘Dreamless,’ and it probably evokes the most daylight and the way light is when you’re outside under the sky.”

When Ring and Purdum hung the show, it was quiet with the exception of crickets.

“That beautiful droning of the crickets and the way the paintings embody that sound and the way the sound influences the way you look at the painting was a really beautiful experience. It’s a wonderful place to go look at art. You go to the Atea Ring Gallery, it’s quite a contemplative experience, and the setting is conducive to a really powerful art experience.”

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