Lee Robson Spence has endured the pandemic by building nine 50-inch square canvases with angled corners and filling them with overlapping biomorphic shapes. Vaguely reminiscent of scientific diagrams, his compositions comfortably recall an era of chic order, excellent pharmaceuticals and an exciting space race, and are colored in combinations that perfectly suit those mid-century leanings. The five paintings that do this exactly right appeal in ways as cool and soothing as the modernist style to which they hew. Those that break from this mode unsettle, naturally, but sometimes it works to shake things up: the ovals in “Circus,” bisected by a line that loop-de-loops across the surface, act differently on the beige and lavender sides of that divide. “Calliope,” meanwhile, reveals a welcome sense of humor, allowing its overlapping lines to resolve into a goofy forest green face with hot pink lip arcs, a baby blue tongue and mismatched eyes, one of them a bright nazar. Laughter, protection from evil, and a good palette—what else does one really need?
—Lori Waxman 2021-04-26 11:39 AM