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A Rush to Lavish Color

Leonore Gimpert, a Midwesterner, spends her winters on the Dutch side of St. Martin in the Caribbean. Perhaps that is why she began painting the lush, voluptuous, thickly layered, impasto pictures of flowers now on exhibit in Judith Singelis’s new show, “Lavish,” at Argazzi Art. But these are not ordinary, recognizable flowers. Instead they are swirling whirlpools of color and texture atop stems that are vertical drips of paint. Colors, either deep or paler, are accented with deeply burnished gold or even silver metallic paint. The pictures can be serene or roiling, calm or emphatic. Gimpert does not do small: Most of the images are quite large, which makes them even more dramatic. In Argazzi’s front room, a big canvas is all blues, both medium and inky dark, grays and shades of white. Two works on paper, under glass of course, are interesting for the fine black line drawing that defines the flowers. Color is more washed on and not so thick. Gimpert’s sense of drama is on display in the hallway connecting the gallery’s main rooms. Dark blue, blue/black and turquoise are accented with splotches of gold near the top and orange near the bottom. It reminds you a little of Van Gogh’s incomparable “Starry Night.” A work on paper in the back room is ominous with its deepest blues and purples. A large diptych is about gold and white and tan on a blue/gray background. The right picture is accented with a single, aster-like blossom among the swirling flowers. Gimpert’s flowers most resemble the ranunculus, that many tissue-layered round blossom, in shape. Her most playful painting – and the only named work, “Candyland” – might be bright, multi-colored ranunculus flowers or lollipops atop the familiar drip stems. It is an explosion of color and energy. Singelis seems to find painters obsessed with a single subject that they reinterpret in varied colors, designs and even mediums. A single, dramatic picture by Arkansas painter Stephanie Pearce of a bed fragmented by petals of greens and seen in slated, diagonal light of white and gray is a harbinger of a show Singelis hopes to mount next year. It is compelling. Leonore Gimpert “Lavish” opens with an artist reception Dec. 3, from 5-7 p.m. The gallery will also be open until 7 p.m. Dec. 4, when Lakeville lights its holiday decorations. Argazzi Art is at 22 Millerton Rd., Rte. 44, in Lakeville. Regular hours are Thurs.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. “Lavish” will hang through Jan. 25. For information, call 860-435-8222 or go to www.argazziart.com.

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