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Fun work by established artists









This Saturday, at Nina Freudenheim gallery, you’ll find some colorful antidotes to the post-holiday blahs. A group show of abstract work by Lynda Benglis, Gene Highstein, Bill Jensen, Steve Keister, and Larry Poons combines abstract painting, drawing, and mixed-media by artists whose names are well-known and whose work is prominently in the collections of both the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Castellani Art Museum, locally. All five artists are also part of Fifty Works for Fifty States: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection, which opens at the Knox January 22.

I’ve always loved the bright color and unrepentant blobbiness of Larry Poons’s paintings, and Lynda Benglis is also a master of works that celebrate the materials of art-making. She’s famous for her latex floor paintings and sculptures in which gold leaf, copper, and zinc become beautiful cloth-like forms. This is work that you want to touch; it’s less intellectual than sensual and erotic. Her current work seems to carry on with a stronger allegiance to organic forms.

Benglis is also well-known for posing with a dildo for a tongue-in-cheek Artforum ad in 1974, but that controversy seems far removed from the artwork she is making now. The only connection I suppose is that her work will always grab your attention—in a good way. And I could say that about all the artists in this show.

The show runs through February 24; the opening is Saturday, January 16, 6-8 p.m. at 140 North Street (in the Lenox Hotel).

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