Betsy Kaufman’s eighth one-person show at the gallery includes four large paintings on canvas and twenty small paintings on paper from her ongoing series entitled Visual Notes. Working emotionally and intuitively, Kaufman “battles order and chaos” within the self-imposed constraints of minimalist systems and hard-edged geometry. A deeply-evolved understanding of her medium is evident in the subtleties of the spatial manipulations, color transitions, and rich, almost tactile surfaces she achieves. Her passion for reading underlies the influence of literary structures on her work. The synthesis of late twentieth-century geometric abstraction in these highly personal, almost idiosyncratic visual “stories” leads the viewer from familiar beginnings to surprising conclusions. Kaufman states:
Early on, I rarely thought about the influences on my work. But when critics began to write about my paintings they often referred to other artists and I had to ask myself, “have I been ‘quoting’ that artist?”Gradually, she not only recognized these unconscious references but began to embrace them, often “riffing” on the artists whose work she loves. For more than twenty years, Betsy Kaufman has created independent but parallel bodies of work on canvas and paper. Now, for the first time, she presents an interplay of related ideas and images executed on both grand and intimate scales. In “Notes on Working,” a brief, informal essay by the artist that appears in the catalogue published on the occasion of this exhibition, she writes:
I find that with my small paintings on paper, I can indulge in a spontaneous “quiet”—minimal pieces of a more elemental, distilled nature … They are small poems in contrast to the louder, more complex, novelistic quality of the large paintings.Betsy Kaufman was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. After earning a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, she arrived in New York in 1980 where she continues to live and work. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at museums and galleries in the US and Europe. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated, forty-page catalogue. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.