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Brilliant ‘Exchange’: Diverse 20-artist exhibit offers stunning variety

“Future Perfect #5,” by Maude Andrade, is a lovely abstract layered collage that shares a kinship with a winter landscape.

“Future Perfect #5,” by Maude Andrade, is a lovely abstract layered collage that shares a kinship with a winter landscape.

The Jonathan Abrams MD Art Gallery at the University of New Mexico Hospital has been exhibiting fine art since it was founded in 1991. Its current offering is the 20-artist “Exchange: Between You and Me” a high-quality exhibition that is teeming with renowned local artists.

The images range from abstractions to landscapes, still life and figurative subjects, with an overall attention to painstaking execution. Because of the number of artists, this review will only touch on several highlights.

Because of her luscious sense of color and elegant execution, Sally Condon is one of my perennial favorite painters. Condon offers “Say What,” an oil, wax and collage on panel that sings itself to sleep at night. For me, it reads like a lullaby with soft transitions between forms and pastel tones.

John Garrett is known for his free-hanging screens made from found and recycled materials. His work is carefully made and has been shown in museums and galleries for many years.

Even though it is a piece that falls outside his expected offerings, I love “Multitudes,” a stunning fabric, yarn and cord construction on panel. “Multitudes” embraces fiber art techniques with an intense black-and-white multilayered woven patterning that is just stunning to behold.

"Reaction" by Suzanne Marshall with a few hints from Joseph Cornell celebrates the often-troubled marriage between art and science triggered by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago.

“Reaction” by Suzanne Marshall with a few hints from Joseph Cornell celebrates the often-troubled marriage between art and science triggered by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago.

Hey, Joseph Cornell, it’s about time to step aside for a bit and let Suzanne Marshall take center stage with her art-in-a-box “Reaction” a very nicely constructed shadow box that is brimming with science, both pseudo and real, or as the big science community likes to put it, hard science.

Of-course Leonardo da Vinci saddled us with the often-troubled marriage between art and science 500 years ago but it is still just great fun nevertheless.

Marshall’s “Reaction” has the look of a natural history specimen drawer that collided with a chemistry lab on its way skyward after exploding due to a leaky Bunsen burner.

Even though Cornell’s stylistic shadow has been cast upon it, a tad farther stage left, Joe Marshall can be proud of the complexity, intensity and overall quality of her efforts.

“Reaction” is a very engaging opus that does not lean heavily on poetics. Oops, didn’t mean to speak ill of the dead. Sorry, Mr. Cornell.

Heidi Pollard has been back in Albuquerque for a long while after spending a number of years in and around New York City, where she participated in a series of exhibitions and installation projects. Her “Diamond Mind Highway” is a departure from her pre-East Coast abstract expressionist tendencies of 20 years ago.

“Diamond Mind Highway,” by Heidi Pollard, relies upon a geometric grid structure to contain her freestyle brushwork and brightly hued palette.

“Diamond Mind Highway,” by Heidi Pollard, relies upon a geometric grid structure to contain her freestyle brushwork and brightly hued palette.

Though her freestyle brushwork is still alive and well, Pollard is geometrically structuring her composition with grid patterns sporting a large red diamond dominating the left central area. The diamond seems to dance across its surroundings.

Her predominantly bright color palette eschews Pollard’s early affinity for earth tones while lending an insouciant joy to the overall painting. I’m not sure whether Pollard is referencing baseball, a girls’ best friend or something far more esoteric, but the overall message is positive and upbeat.

Rachel Popowcer is an accomplished mixed-media painter who worked out a personal style through the use of a wood-burner and the color red that continues to deliver jaw-dropping works that jump off the wall. Her “Wraith” is yet another example of Popowcer’s skills and abilities. Her work makes you glad you came to the show.

There are tons more truly interesting works in this installation that should place this exhibition on your short must-see list.

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