Back in May, Rachel Hellman at Galleri Urbane had a spectacular show of shaped, minimalist
paintings that used a kind of relief sculpture style, but yet was still a painting. Happening at
the same time was the Frank Stella show at the Fort Worth Modern with his hybrids of paintings/
sculptures on display. I guess this kind of work is in the zeitgeist, because Conduit Gallery is now
featuring Carrie Marill which also plays in this realm of relief painting, but with some noticeable
differences that made me pause, think about the work, and then write.
I remember Carrie Marill’s work from a show at Conduit years ago. This show came with a magnifying glassine order to see the detail, but I remember that my son had said he was looking for clues. This body of work isn’t the whimsical gouache paintings, rather the structures that give these paintings a little weight. In this body of work, there are three sub categories. One group uses this lines to accentuate the shape of cut fiberboard, another group looks constructed into stacked thick lines of color, finally the last two paintings use optical illusion to create an effect.
thin lines of paint that follow along the contours of the shaped object. I enjoyed the craft of the
lines and the minimal space she created. The second grouping is made up of constructed stack
pieces showing highlighted color and shape. Like the rainbow colored piece titled My Little
Rainbow, they seem to exude the feeling of brightness and cheerfulness. B&W is a diptych
painting of sharp lines in white and blue. The moment I encountered this work, I immediately
thought about works at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art, here in Dallas. In particular,
I was thinking about Roger Bensasson or maybe Luis Guevara Moreno’s purely geometric
pieces, but there are a great deal more at the Museum that relate to Marill’s current show.
The last group does play with your visual senses a bit. Nothing like Bridget Riley, but I don’t
think that was Marill’s aim with these pieces. The goal was not to master an Op illusion, but
rather play with the formalist elements of line and shape. The high contrast of black and
white push a painter to move in the Op mode of thinking when creating a work. Even a
piece like Riley-Sol invokes Riley in the title, but also the visual style of Sol Lewitt. Both
artists had different goals, yet were similar sometimes in the results of their play with
geometry. Marill attempts to synthesize them in this piece.
and McNeil before, but their current shows are well worth your visit. You don’t want to miss
McNeil’s cut outs. You only have until October 14th to see all three of their shows at