Spawn: New Work by Carla Knopp 

4 stars

Harrison Gallery at the Harrison Center for the Arts

"Estrogenie," "Ripwreath," and "Bride Thing," are some of the more interesting titles/coinages in this show of Carla Knopp's new paintings. "Bride Thing" is Knopp's depiction of a sort of wedding bouquet with greenish leaves and towers of red eyeball-like things protruding from it against a flesh-colored background. It's not exactly the kind of thing you'd want to see at your wedding but you have to at least admire the craftsmanship behind it. Knopp's new paintings are on planes of wood (in oil, sometimes with acrylic added) that she shaped and sanded herself. She takes full advantage of the shapes of her wood surfaces, ovals and pentagons among them, to frame her intuitive compositions. While Knopp may be, in her words, "borrowing from the accidental aesthetics of thrift store art," she nevertheless betrays her mastery of color theory with sometimes harmonious and sometimes jarring combinations, often in the same painting. It is Knopp's intertwining of intuition and craft—as seamless as her conceptual conglomerations of seemingly disparate things—that make this a show not to miss. Through May 1; 317-396-3886, www.harrisoncenter.org.

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