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Clayton Colvin - Put Down Your Stars

Art Forum: Critic's Pick: Clayton Colvin

April 19, 2014 - Rowan Ricardo Phillips

The nine paintings that comprise Birmingham, Alabama–based Clayton Colvin’s “Put Down Your Stars” operate within that inchoate space between stoic, Apollonian formalism and exuberant figural expression. Shapes—particularly squares, rhombi, strokes, and arabesques—vibrate and twist on the canvas in response to Colvin’s manipulations of color, depth, and repetition. At times, painting seems to give way to drawing, and at other times, drawing seems to give way to painting. Erasures and additions reveal and conceal other layers, complicating ideas of before and after, original and addition, right-side up and upside down. The paintings thrive in paradox: They can seem crowded and full of movement, a sense of unsettled energy populating their spaces; after sustained viewing, however, a calm and measured contemplativeness saturates the canvases.

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