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Epic Grids

Jennifer Bartlett builds her success along horizontal and vertical lines

Circles within squares bordered by other squares render a colorful, quiltlike effect.
Circles within squares bordered by other squares render a colorful, quiltlike effect.

Details

"Jennifer Bartlett, New Paintings"
Through November 28 at Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery, 4520 Blossom (713)863-7097

"Three Works from the Edward R. Broida Collection"
Through November 26 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet (713)639-7300

The real winner out of the bunch, and the work that shows Bartlett to advantage, is Scheveningen Black (1999-2000). At seven feet high and 14 feet long, it's dynamic on a large scale with lush colors popping out against a black background. You are aware of the underlying compositional grid of rectangles, but the big dotlike plops of color group them erratically and (gasp!) stray over the edges. She reveals a masterful use of color and composition, causing your eye to dart around the canvas as the vibrant shapes seem to bubble up onto the surface. In the end, Bartlett controls the grid -- the grid does not control her.

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