Urban Promise introduces Tina Bluefield’s exploration in non-figurative work. Her love of color, shape and paint resonate in works large and small that do not try to create the illusion of subjects in form. Freed from the desire to communicate meaning or to represent a camera’s point of view, the works achieve a freedom and deftness that excite and inspire. They recall the influence of the New York School and it’s definitive call to new ways of imagining the world.
The influence of Tina’s long history painting landscapes can be sensed in works such as Promise and Beyond the Fog. While clearly non-representational, the paintings can be seen to suggest a horizon, perhaps an interior space in which emotion and intellect spar for control. Her years spent on architectural projects may also contribute to the rectangular forms and tight construction of Urban and Rainy Day View. The same influence, combined with Tina’s interest in transition and passage, can be seen in Ancient Doorway.
Her Joshua Tree studio has afforded Tina the freedom to explore oil painting as well as to find inspiration in a new environment. The starkness of the environment and the clear vistas of the mesa are reflected in her color palette. The blue of the open sky in particular is reflected in paintings such as Urban, Blue Arch and Blue Windows. Rich yellows and oranges contrast with muted greens in Autumn River and Conversation. The mysterious beauty of the area is evoked in Winter Fire and Night Window, which suggest glimpses into another realm. Celestial events, a long walk, a spirited community; all of these contribute to the subtle power of the works.
Urban Promise reveals a classic modernist approach rather than a connection to contemporary trends. Tina’s interest is in experimenting with the surface of a canvas until the moment of resolution arises rather than communicating a message or meaning. The viewer is left to take away an emotional or intellectual connection to the works, or not. In this way, the exhibition delivers on the promise of freedom and bold independence that is the offering of the new American frontier. This is Tina’s first solo showing in New York.
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