Painter Ursula Schneider has made a career out of rendering the quotidian extraordinary, and in “The River”, her latest series of noctural waterscapes on view at the Braunstein/Quay Gallery through August 1, she continues to apply a virtuoso technique to her surroundings, this time in upstate New York. Working from photographs, Schneider paints the lights of a nuclear power plant reflecting on the Hudson River. She blends a faux-naif style of representation with a loose, bio/geo kind of abstraction for an effect that falls just short of holographic.
In all, she presents six large-scale (45" x 92”) paintings and six small drawings, the latter of which are executed in Neocolor, a water-based crayon that resembles gouache, only more luminous and saturated.
In most of the larger works we see only the beaming lights and their reflections across the water, not the monolithic structure from which they emanate. The results are irregular grids composed of multi-colored lines whose rhythms deviate at odd, unpredictable intervals, like minimalist musical compositions. From a distance the grid predominates; but up close, those quivering lines take precedence, and the associations they call forth include inverted exclamation points, minarets and popsicles.