by DeWitt Cheng
The new show of abstract paintings by Tom Lieber, his second at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, is titled "Wired," referring not to the twittering electronic group mind, but to the faster pace of life in Los Angeles vis-a-vis Kaua'i, the artist's longtime home. Lieber said in an interview, about island life, "The lines in my paintings are reflections of my walks, and the way things grow here." Accordingly, his sojourn in Southern California has changed his work, too, charging it with new graphic energy. Judging from the preliminary images, the trademark scumbled, brushy mists that used to hover close to the picture plane, parallel to it, have receded into the luminous atmospheric haze, with tangled skeins of brown, burnt sienna, black and gray inhabiting the middle ground, occasionally coalescing into a shape that might be read as a roof or boat's hull--or not. Other works still contain dark soft-edged patches, but they, too, hint at mist and light and enigmatic tumbledown structures, reminiscent of Nathan Oliveira's Site monotypes which were inspired by Turner and that other Venice, stately and serene. "Wired" runs from May 3 to June 2 at Dolby Chadwick Gallery.