Marta Dorton generates rough, dappled paintings with the use of a squeegee and a scraper. The resulting pictures are abstract, loosely patterned, all-over surfaces rich in layer. Seen from certain orientations, they also become landscapes, sometimes more than one at a time: the ocean, the mountains, the plains. This does not always happen with squeegee abstractions—the grand master of the genre, Gerhard Richter, achieves nothing more and nothing less than color, movement and texture in his oversize canvases. But it does with Dorton’s. “Why” is a question only the artist can answer, but “how” is something for the viewer to ponder. Is it the accumulation of paint that registers as organic matter? Is it the variegated blues and ochers that read as so much water, sky and earth? The natural world is filled with wonders, as is the painted one, and sometimes they are one and the same.
—Lori Waxman 3/25/17 11:31 AM