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Amanda Church, Paula De Luccia, Beth Kaminstein, Leslie Parke, and Lauren Olitski are five women artists who had connections to Bennington College in the ‘60s and ‘70s and also, more recently, to the Florida Keys. Lauren Olitski’s father, the renowned color-field painter Jules Olitski, moved to Islamorada in the 1970s, where he lived and worked until his death in 2007. Paula De Luccia, and her husband, painter Larry Poons, lived and painted in Islamorada for 20 years, up until the 1990s. Leslie Parke’s brother also lived in Islamorada, and Amanda Church over the years has regularly visited Beth Kaminstein. As essentially abstract artists, they share a relationship to a common core of a visual language.
Amanda Church’s paintings use a flat, velvety-smooth surface to convey hard-edge, pop abstracted allusions to the body in landscape. Paula De Luccia’s paintings are also large scale, as well as raw and colorful, and she adds other materials to the surface to create textures beyond the canvas. Beth Kaminstein’s ceramic works’ wide surfaces create large areas of color achieved through high-fired glazes. Lauren Olitski challenges the standard rectangular frame of abstract work by adding pieces to change the shape of her 10-foot-long paintings. Leslie Parke’s paintings have a brilliant ground with lines that at once seem to define, dissolve, and merge shapes.
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