Updated: Oct 17, 2018
Art itself is inspired and diverse, it merges and conflates ideas that take the form of creative expression in ways difficult to define. The paintings of Francine Tint are a perfect example of this. At first we may view them as agglomerations of pure pigment, but soon we begin to see portions of her composition stand out from the rest. They take over our concentration. From these elements to the support, our attention teeters back and forth, creating absurdity and doubt. Titled “Explorations,” her new solo exhibition at The Cavalier Gallery, presents a variety of canvases in which metaphors of motion or growth figure highly. The current paintings of Francine Tint express a variety of truths with a great vigor and deftness of touch. Tint’s paintings take from a broad visual register, and they abound in color and vitality. Nothing here sits idly within its own composition upon the canvas, sleeping in the somnolence of stylistic ease. Hers is the minutiae of a mind on fire, constantly in motion, of progress toward the next several statements she is interested to make.
“Blooms of Darkness” (2018) references the “blooms of the night”— spectral events that occur in the mind of someone overwhelmed by nature. While staring out into the pervasive darkness, a phenomena that expresses the rational mind’s limits at comprehending the absence of humanity in a ‘wild’ place. Abstraction therefore creates an event that is seemingly real.
“Dubstep” (2016) takes its title from a club craze popular since around 2010 in which reggae syncopations inform and are utilized by musicians who use synthesizers and turntables to create an extremely aggressive form of electronic dance music. It can range from simple pop tunes to DJ-generated walls of pure sound. In a club environment, dancing to the music, lulled by drink and good cheer, the music can prove transformative, generating an extreme release from everyone present as the music takes over and they lose control. The forms in this painting are tidal, like the shape a wave takes as it barrels toward the shore, carrying everything with it—sand, fish, possibly a surfer, creating immense tension, a dynamo of motion that endlessly feeds back into itself. It resembles what in electronic terms is called a feedback loop, in which energy pulses outward and then returns to its source.
“Electric Sunrise” (2018) is a affirmation of that primal event that begins each day since the time of creation. Day emerges from night in a diffusion of searing light and the commingling of all elements being charged by the presence of illumination. Seen from off at a great distance, framed by tall buildings or trees, the locus of our attention is filled with swarming and whooshing forms that could be birds, leaves, dust, and in addition, some primal matter exposed at the moment when a celestial event makes all things imminently transparent. We are compelled by the sublime grace of this event.
“Velvet Explosion” (2017) presents us with a swooning study in seismic forces that could be volcanic magma pouring out upon the deep ocean floor, or it could be an electric charge releasing with in the blood vessels or brain pathways of the human body. There is a heating up out of absolute coolness, a churning, and then out of pure air, a spark lets fly. Inspiration is the métier of the world as felt, or sensed, from voluptuousness and carnal pleasure, into intimacy, then introspection, and finally something is born. This is motion in its most innate form.
“Star Wars” (2016) makes me think of the films I have been seeing since I was a boy of ten years. I see an alien landscape, and through it flows a force, manifesting as dark and malevolent, or it could be a shadow of a hovercraft, carrying someone to his as yet unknown destiny. The mythical quality of these films takes us back into a world of pure reckoning. They are like futuristic westerns, journeys to knowledge through distant and inhospitable lands, where intuition trumps power. The hero who knows himself better can be victorious.
These and many other paintings by Francine Tint provide us with models for the exploration of reality in a heightened degree of chromatic and gestural perception. The lessons of painting that Tint has gleaned from her several decades of making art in the community of artists, and indeed, within the history of art, are a palimpsest of meaning that can only be realized by the act of looking. Tint knows form, and uses all of her powers to move us. She uses form to fill the world, tilting it ever so much into the unknown, where we follow.