John DiPaolo

Exhibitions Dolby Chadwick Gallery

John DiPaolo

Apr 4 — Apr 27, 2019

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Forty-plus years on in his “long haul” practice, DiPaolo continues to find visual meaning and excitement in his longtime Hunters Point studio. His ninth solo show (in twenty years) at Dolby Chadwick Gallery features eight large oils on canvas that demonstrate his versatility and virtuosity (although the heavily worked paintings are never about mere skill). Direct Current and Highwire (both 2017) feature criss-crossed, interwoven wide paint strokes arranged in layers. Two white bands or layers (‘registers’ in art-history terminology) enfold a yellow register, set against a black background, in the former; in the latter, set against a beige background, a multicolored layer of ‘woven’ or ‘thatched’ strokes is bent into a shallow V-shape, suggesting a corner, or a turn in space. In Light in Our Darkness and Revolver #3 (both 2018), DiPaolo eschews the horizontal layering, creating visually weighty central forms with flat brushstrokes painted in different colors and orientations. Aurora #5 and Serpentine (both 2018-19) return the horizontal structure, but less strictly; the foreground visual elements, painterly, ambiguous, imaginary objects, push against and escape confinement. Silhouette and Untitled #20 (also from the past two years) flirt with imagery and interpretation: a profile, and a kind of animated manuscript, respectively, to my mystical eye, anyway. As JoAnne Northrup, former curator at San Jose Museum of Art wrote, DiPaolo’s centrifugal/centripetal paintings, are transcribed, reified “controlled chaos, a harnessing of natural forces.”

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