From Art Critic Judith Borne
The method to this madness comes with knowing the precise properties of paint, color and texture. The element of surprise occurs by ignoring them. In this body of work from Arlene Waxman, her creations delight in contrast, color and caprice. Each canvas is purely and passionately representational of an “Action Painting” technique. Every action is incrementally traceable in these “non’-representational” expressions. All suggest a stunningly vivacious, sculpted quality. With abstract, many materials can be integrated. This is something the artist counts on.
“It has to be tactile,” Waxman insists, “along with that element of surprise.” Each gesture of color, whether it be dripped, squirted, brushed or splattered on canvas has its own unique qualities to contribute. These bit players hold a separate importance as well as becoming part of the accomplished ensemble of characters which come together to tell the story. Application is uncompromising and unconventional and invites us to open our minds and interpret to our own conclusions.
As viewers of non-figurative work, we bring past associations to our present observations. Certain colors carry qualities that make us feel joyful. Others evoke feelings of anger or sadness. The proximity of these colors takes us elsewhere and can offend or comfort. Layered, they become textured in ways that entice us to stare or tempt us to touch. Concentrated, they form hubs of energy from which explosions of color leap forth. All seem to evoke a psychological response. The artist is keenly award of this, much the same way a skilled director assigns parts and establishes tempo.
The artist speaks of energy and emotion. She expresses it in her choreography of colors This color sense has progressively evolved t6hrough years of training with textiles is strikingly evident in her work as a sculptor, and previous paintings such as “Initial Awakening” (Triptych 48” x 80”).
Arlene Waxman uses the properties of these color materials in a way that enhances each component of the process. The techniques she uses uniquely complements and effects the conclusions that are drawn, giving each viewer “inventive license” to change the endings.