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Paul Booker
Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by John Zotos

Paul Booker, “Ridges—Greens and Yellows,” 2015, watercolor and ink on paper, 22 x 30”

Continuing through May 9, 2015

Paul Booker’s new body of work is divided into two thematic expressions: drawings primarily in the grey/green and blue color range that closely resemble his signature wall sculptures; and larger works in vibrant red, pink, and yellow hues that are layered in polyurethane. All of the pieces are intricate and delicate expressions that build a layered and complex abstract image, resulting in a mass of interconnected shapes in the form of whirlwinds, waves, or botanical formations.

Recent sculptures use ink on lexan plastic cut into pieces and arranged into abstract forms that are wall mounted with small pins. Here he replaces the lexan cutouts with the use of polyurethane treated with oil, ink, or watercolor. The shift in media compresses the sculptural volume into a two-dimensional image. The drawings without the polyurethane also derive from the same aesthetic change, the most visually stimulating being ‘Ridges—Yellows and Greens." This watercolor and ink drawing exhibits a masterful handling of the layered materials like so many sheets of glass or ice. It starts with an purplish hue toward the top that gently flows and meanders into yellow and blue layers that leave a bell shaped form at the bottom edge, completely unworked, like a cul-de-sac. With fascinating detail he captures and renders an imaginary world.

A great example of the large-scale polyurethane pieces is "Green Current,” which uses the green regions to express depth in the form of tunnels in a writhing vortex that’s countered and enclosed by yellow sections that appear to be closest to the surface. A palpable sense of motion ensures an active and energetic visual experience. Here, as in all of the other larger works, the effect is compounded by the way Booker makes sure to engulf the entire picture plane with activity, amplifying the tension present in even the smallest of these dazzling works.

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