Press: The Baltimore Sun, April 7, 1983

North West, 1983. Alkyd and pencil on paper. 48 x 60 inches. Private collection.

North West, 1983. Alkyd and pencil on paper. 48 x 60 inches. Private collection.

Nan Montgomery’s abstracts successfully original

by John Dorsey, The Baltimore Sun, April 7, 1983

Washington artist Nan Montgomery, a half-dozen of whose works are on view upstairs at C. Grimaldis Gallery, is one of the most successfully original artists to be seen at local galleries this year.

In her abstract compositions, which employ alkyd paint and pencil in a combination of drawing and painting, she addresses the relationships of color to color, form to line and part to part of the picture plane.

One can also read these works as abstracted cityscapes, with buildings and wires. Sometimes, as in North West, there is a suggestion of perspective or even of a window which makes one of her vertical stripes a wall. But one need not seek a referential element to enjoy these works.

As the shapes within them echo and balance one another, so there is also an interplay among their colors, some almost transparently thin, others more heavy and oily. In the best works here, such as North West and Hanover, there is a feeling of tension simultaneously created and released, sustaining the viewer’s attention.

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