Wug Laku's Studio & Garage, through April 28
In his artist statement for Deliberate Energy, Steven Conant talks about abstracting forms from nature and reducing them to basic forms and shapes. All of the works presented in this exhibition are created with alkyd — and some feature graphite. In his "zig zag" landscape paintings, as he calls them, Conant uses two layers of paint on each line, but more layers are needed, as the opacity is not there and would strengthen the paintings greatly. The zig zag paintings are still enjoyable, though; they evoke the energy of Keith Haring's playful and bold line structures while keeping the focus on the artist's natural themes.
One piece, "Crossroads," stacks mixed media onto paper and synthesizes his zig zag lines, geometric shapes and nature-inspired color palate into what is the most cohesive work of the show. The rest of the work succeeds in reducing nature to simple colors and shapes and is admirable for the mix of restraint and expressiveness, but curiosity arises about the potential results if Conant continues to add more layers to his art.