Suzanne Caporael, 2010, 604 (Cooperstown, New York), 60 x 90 inches, oil on linen
It's been a good season so far for abstract painting in Chelsea -- and by far the standout show of the moment is a group of new paintings by Suzanne Caporael at Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe (through December 4). The show is titled The Memory Store, which clues us into the artist's process of working from a distillation of direct observation -- criss-crossing the country exploring and collecting the peculiarities of the American cultural terrain. But of course it is one thing to keenly observe, and quite another to transform those observations into eloquent abstract paintings. Caporael's work is not just about experience, but about transmutations that occur between experience, memory and visualization. She arrives at images that are vague recollections of passing glimpses, translating them into sensuous, spare and ambiguous paintings. Her oil surfaces are silky and translucent, and her edges are blurred and full of subtle incident. The configurations only hint at their sources, floating in and out of recognition like memories float through time.