Bold, ambitious and packed with color, Tracy Boyd’s paintings indulge our sight, whether you linger on the drips in the paint or see the horses in the rain. These paintings shift in and out of their layers of meaning, shimmering with a kind of nostalgic looking-forward, a potential future once imagined.

Boyd has stepped up to the challenge of filling the narrow gallery of Vermillion with its high, dark ceilings. By presenting more figurative work as well as more abstract brushwork, the progression of Boyd’s thought process is laid bare. Throughout the gallery, Boyd’s hand shows through the curtain that divides abstract from figurative. It has been refreshing to see such progression in one solo show, when so often artists seem to merely dabble around an idea instead of delving into it. Sometimes the only way to break through to the next idea is to dive into this one with a whole heart.

In “Fortress”, the figures appear as if they are behind bars, though those bars appear to include as much as exclude them. A pink stripe’s echo of the motorcycle’s wheel cover, the red and blue bollard supporting the motorcyclist’s hand, the neck of the deer where a second pink stripe narrows, all create a tension in the painting’s surface that rewards attention.

“Worldly” is self-assured, driven by the diagonals and given direction by streaks of horizontal color. A vague urban landscape lingers in perspectival space. Figures appear and disappear, blurry as if seen through crossed eyes.

In “Dreaming”, two systems of ideas send crystalline flashes of energy away from where they meet. The eye travels back and forth to parse the systems’ varying perspectives, to see through the layers of paint and into their hearts.

–Martha Dunham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *