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Ines de Poligny’s Harmonious Blend of Freedom and Precision

Splash, Paintings 63 x 47

An Argentinean artist of mixed French and Russian extraction, Ines de Poligny states her artistic mission as an attempt “to express opposites coexisting,” and “to express nature’s qualities, bringing my own abstract vision to it.”
    Perhaps de Poligny’s most overtly nature-derived painting, due to its horizontal format and the sense of a rugged terrain that its rocky shapes and ruddy red hues suggest, is her composition in acrylic and oil on canvas “Bosque en Ilamas” (Forest in Flames). Another work executed in the same medium, in cool blue and steely gray hues on a more suitably vertical canvas, is called “Nueva Eva.” It depicts tall, somewhat abstracted but still distinguishable urban towers soaring skyward, with looser, splashier forms resembling smoke –– presumably, in the light of the frightening events of our present age, from a terrorist’s bomb –– about to bring them crashing back down to earth. Such are the grim realities of our “Nueva Era” that the work of even many of the most abstract artists of all nations is emotionally affected by the contrasts that they present.
    Fortunately, however, de Poligny still finds much to be hopeful about in works such as “Raices Multiples,” a presumed celebration of her own mixed ethnic roots and those of others. For here is a dynamic and exuberant work, in richly burnished ochers and browns that mingle harmoniously with black and white hues, in a lively composition comprised of a wide variety of organic and geometric forms and shapes that add up to an emblematic composition, resembling a family crest for humanity at large.
    Equally energetic in its own manner is de Poligny’s dynamic composition “Splash,” which resembles an Abstract Expressionist painting subjected to a more refined, premeditated technique, with the splashy form of the title rendered in tones of blue and white with a linear precision akin to Hokusai’s famous woodcut “The Wave.” Rather than being impetuously painterly, the earthy background, too, is subtly glazed, almost as though by an airbrush, lending the painting a Pop quality. Here, one sees another example of the artist’s professed love of contrasts held in check by a classical sense of balance. Her earlier influence, and her first stylistic love, was with Surrealism, and she has apparently incorporated some of its deliberate techniques of figurative definition into her creative process, along with the freedom of abstraction that also characterizes her present work.
    This fruitful merging of the freeform and the precise is also evident in de Poligny’s work in acrylic and oil on canvas “Azzafr�n,” consisting of bold vertical forms in black, yellow, and tan which span the length of the composition, from the top to the bottom, edge to edge. These stripes are boldly laid down with a broad brush in a loose gestural manner, with ragged edges that sometimes splash onto and mingle with the adjoining color or onto the bare white priming coat of the canvas. At the very center of the composition, however, is a more precisely painted broad stripe of tan, its edges neatly lined with yellow, that provides a resting point for the eye. In keeping with Ines de Poligny’s love of contrasts, it functions like a classical column, perfectly balancing without inhibiting the energetic flow of the composition.


 –– J. Sanders Eaton

Ines de Poligny, Agora Gallery 530 West 25th Street,  March 4 - 25, 2014 
Reception: Thursday March 6pm - 8pm

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