Excerpt from NY ARTS Magazine, May/June 2005, Vol. 10, No.5/6

"Geometry Reloaded" by Lilly Wei

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Artist and curator Julie Karabenick has gathered together 12 artists who share her deep interest in painting, geometry and structure. Each of them, including Karabenick, is represented by one work in the exhibition, "Engaging the Structural." Most of the works are easel-sized, that is, not too large nor too small, not dependent upon extreme scale to make a point. Five of the works are classic painting rectangles in size and proportions, and as such, neutral in shape. The other six are square, a shape that is also neutral, at equilibrium and stable. The two exceptions are an elongated horizontal rectangle —which is actually a double square —and a relief-like construction. The formats in these works, however, yield to the primacy of the painting; the subject of these works is not the frame, not the support, and the structure under discussion is the structure within the painting. Without exception, these are all retinal works. Geared to visuality, vested in formal concerns and perceptual strategies, their sources rooted in Cubism, Neo-Plasticism, Minimalism, Pattern and Design and other modernist movements, these paintings are almost all non-objective works with no appropriative tropes, no irony and only a passing interest in merging geometric abstraction with representation or with narrative. Color, shape, line and what these formal elements can be made to do continue to obsess these hard-wired painters and geometricians. Still entrenched in their chosen terrain, still enthralled by its mysteries and possibilities, they are not about to decamp anytime soon.

Vincent Romaniello’s top to bottom vertical stripes are of a different order, alternating  between thick and thin, between a range of reds from deep to pale, intercut by Barnett Newman-like "zips" of light and dark. Layered with a gauzy wash of white here and there and splattered by dots and dashes of white, their placement dictated by chance and gravity, Romaniello combines the geometric with a looser, more fluid touch, setting his sequence of bands and stripes into a rhythmically arresting, visually syncopated movement that traverses the surface of his painting.



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© copyright Vincent Romaniello 2005
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