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Lindy T. Shepherd

Orlando Weekly

“Playing off the grid”
New works by Rick Jones

Abstract urbanscape painter Rick Jones has spent the last five years or so as an active artist, collaborator and supporter of the Orlando arts community. This impromptu display of nine new works at Taste restaurant in College Park will likely strike those familiar with his compositions as something altogether different; it’s as if his typical geometrical pieces have been whirled about. In addition to more light and vivid colors, there’s a sense of movement and freedom achieved by Jones’ looser hold on the grid.

Even in March, when Jones held a solo show, Deep Field, at Stardust Video & Coffee, critic Richard Reep wrote on his website that the title piece “combines geometries with a loose orthagonality integrating an angle that is neither 45 nor 60 degrees but somewhere in between, the resulting facets are uniformly dark or light with tones either purely white nor purely black.”

He’s broken away from that uniformity in this show, which consists of small graphite drawings and acrylic paintings. Fresh from a trip to New York, Jones says he whipped out the pieces in a period of calm creativity. None of them are titled, and they pop out in the narrow room that serves as a gallery near the front entrance – it’s cozy if not conducive to far-away perspectives.

In Jones’ cityscapes in black, white and shades of gray, the horizon rises and falls with what appears to be differing high-rise structures, and the forefront conjures a slice of urban jungle. There are multitudes of lines and angles that cross and intersect, in addition to the occasional asymmetrical mass that suggests form, such as a tree or a
shadowy figure.

The acrylics also depart from uniformity. On the widest canvas, the colors and subject matter change from the left to the right side, suggestive of a landscape; a tall, dense structure appears to be flanked by “scenes” in green and blue set against a white background. In a small, square painting, black outlines are thick and close up, like an architectural detail of a New York City apartment building; therein, a block of intense purple imparts drama – it’s just another story in the big city of life.

There’s warmth in these works that makes them breathe and gives a sense that they’ve been released from their trappings.


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