Canadian painter Anne Barkley's abstract compositions mesh multiple tones and modes of application into an aesthetic that combines hard edges and flat spaces, deep recesses and diffuse borders. Alternately echoing Piet Mondrian's purposefully imbalanced Neo-Plasticism and Mark Rothko's gentle gradients, Barkley plays with conventions of art, representation and architecture. She draws us into spaces that suddenly collapse as edges tuck under new planes and into non-existent corners. Distant rectangles evoke hung artworks until frames dissolve and colors run loose. Barkley uses balance and pictorial relations to anticipate and subvert our expectations.
Her use of saturated and pale, shimmering and matte colors extenuates these confounding contrasts. Lively reds and rusting oranges often serve as backdrop to moody browns and grays. The darkest tones of burgundy and violet frame elements that seem to multiply, and proliferate, at the canvas’ edges. By contradicting conventional experiences of distance, perspective and composition, Barkley brings a new, critical insight to abstract painting.