For the Love of Pure Color

The bold, brilliant paintings that are Louise P. Sloane’s newest work are the culmination of more than a decade-long shift from the muted tones and abundant imagery that characterized her earlier endeavors. Even those paintings had started out with a great deal of color, Sloane confessed, but she toned them down, afraid of their brightness. Several years ago, however, another artist, Richard Anuszkiewicz, teased her about her fear of flamboyance and told her it was time to get over it if she really wanted to work with color. That comment had an impact as evidenced by these high-voltage results. The paintings are now extremely concentrated, less discursive than in the past and zoom in on form, color and texture with more or less equal intensity. The formats are all verticals, off-square by a few inches for lift, and the compositions are quite straightforward but despite that, or because of that directness, that visual simplicity, they pack an enormous punch right between the eyes. Divided into four quadrants that frame a central square, the eye is drawn immediately to it as if to the center of a target—the “instant communication” that the artist strives for. Only then does the viewer begin to parse the whole. Sloane’s paintings recall Albers’ well-known color studies, Color Field painting and the geometric abstractions of the 1970s, all sources that have influenced her although her concerns are as expressive as they are formal. The color is applied to what is usually an aluminum surface these days, the support constructed so that the paintings hang slightly away from the wall. The color at the edges then reflects onto the wall and is returned as a kind of circumscribing aura. Sloane uses color straight-up, without mixing. The mixing takes place on the painting itself, optically, as one color reacts to the other, a red against a green, say, or a blue against an orange. The colors are not always complementary. She might pair a blue against a near shade of another blue, or a family of reds with each other as in LRBS or The Mighty Atom. The titles are mostly descriptive (OOCBT, VVPPO for instance, the letters standing for hues) and trumpet Sloane’s newfound ease with blasts of full-bodied color. She has also been accentuating the paintings’ negative space. The juxtapositions of color can act as a contrasting outline around a quadrant or square and give off a flash of light, a shimmer, where they meet. But each section is a complex sequence of hues from the ground up, reverberating with hidden shades, the topmost layer the sum of what lies beneath. The surface also holds Sloane’s signature extrusions (she’s a whiz with a pastry tube). The squiggles of text add an additional color note and level of signification. Painstakingly written and overwritten, Sloane’s inscribed text, deeply meaningful to her, is a form of private meditation; in this series, it uses the short stories written by her late parents. Turned into relief, it creates a raised pattern that is illegible when she is finished, painting the borders a contrasting color to accentuate the irregularity of the text’s profile and to energize the painting’s edges. She wants the response to be based on the text’s physicality and color, not its meaning. From the beginning, Sloane has depended upon personal narratives and writings to help her get started, provide the pulse of the painting, and to “keep me going” but it is not necessary that the viewer knows the specifics in order to respond to the work. Sloane treats narrative more as process than content, the narrative ultimately becoming an ambience that pervades the formal, its presence and meaning to be intuited—or not, a situation Sloane prefers. Not quite done, she then goes back in with a zero brush as the last step, and very slowly, very carefully, adjusts the color, adding what will be read as highlights, as more luminosity. “Very obsessive,” she admits, “but as an artist, I’m driven by a vision that I need to realize.”
Lilly Wei
Lilly Wei is a New York-based art critic and independent curator

2019
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Linen
48 x 48 x 1.75 inches
Geometric Abstraction, Dense lush texture many different shades of blue and purple.
2019
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Linen
44 x 40 x 1.75 inches
Geometric Abstraction with lush colors with a densely textured surface. Yellows, pale blue, pale green and pinks.
"PINKS"
2019
Acrylic Pastes and Paint on Linen
40 x 36 x 1.75 inches
Lushly colored Geometric Abstraction
"Ring Of Fire"
2018
Acrylic Pastes and Paints on Linen
36 x 36 x 1.75 inches
Geometric Abstraction with densely textured surface and optically charged colors.
"It's All Good"
2018
Acrylic Pastes and Paints on Canvas
44 x 40 x 1.75 inches
Optically Charged Geometric Abstraction
"DangerZone2018"
2018
Acrylic Pastes and Paints on Canvas
44 x 40 x 1.75 inches
Optically charged Geometric Abstraction
"BURNER"
2018
Acrylic Pastes and Paints on Linen
36 x 36 x 1.75 inches
Geometric Abstraction
BBRedSquares (blue blue red squares)(SOLD)
2018
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Linen
42 x 42 inches
Geometric Abstraction with densely textured surface and lush optically charged colors.
CELESTE
2018
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Linen
48 x 36 inches
Geometric Abstraction with densely textured surface and lush optically charged colors.
RRCTS (Red Red Cobalt Teal Square)
2018
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Linen
48 x 72 inches
Geometric Abstraction with densely textured surface and lush optically charged colors.
Purple Haze 2017
2017
Acrylic Pastes and Paints on Linen
72 x 64 inches
Geometric Abstraction
Sizzler
2017
Acrylic pastes and Paints on Aluminum
46 x 44 inches
Geometric Abstraction Oranges/Reds/Blues
PYBS
2017
Acrylic Pastes and Paints on Aluminum Panel
46 x 44 inches
Geometric Abstraktion: pinks/yellows/blues/aqua
"FATED-6"
2016
Acrylic Pastes and Paint on Aluminum Panel
50 x 46 x 1/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction with densely textured surface and optically charged colors.
"FATED-7"
2016
Acrylic Pastes and Paints on Aluminum Panel
40 x 36 x 1/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction with densely textured surface and optically charged colors.
"Fated 4"
2016
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Aluminum Panel
40 x 36 x 1/8 inches
Optically Charged Geometric Abstraction
"Fated 5"
2016
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Aluminum Panel
40 x 36 x 1/8 inches
Optically Charged Geometric Abstraction
In The Pink
2015
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Bent Aluminum Panel
40 x 36 x 1/8 inches
Intense pinks/reds/turquoise center/yellow rimmed geometric abstraction
BLUES2015 (SOLD)
2015
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Bent Aluminum Panel
40 x 36 x 1/8 inches
Predominantly blue - negative spaces lavendar and light blue - center square cad red dark over medium magenta. Highlighted by cad orange edge. Geometric abstraction
BULLETS
2015
Acrylic Paint, Pastes and Gouache on bent aluminum panel
50 x 46 x 1/8 inches
Optically charged, densely textured geometric abstratction
4CBS (SOLD) Permanent Collection Heckscher Museum Of Art
2014
Acrylic Paints, Pastes and Gouache on Bent Aluminum Panel
50 x 46 x 1/8 inches
Densely Textured Optically Charged Geometric Abstraction
The Mighty Atom (SOLD)
2014
Acrylic Paint on Aluminum Panel
50 x 46 x 1/8 inches
Optically charged geometric abstract painting
DangerZone (Unavailable)
2014
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Bent Aluminum Panel
50 x 46 x 1/8 inches
Optically Charged Geometric Abstraction

Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard
BURTRYB
2014
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Bent Aluminum Panel
50 x 46 x 1/8 inches
Optically Charged Geometric Abstraction

Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard
CCBAS (CeruleanCobaltBluesAquaSquare)
2013
Acrylic Paints on Bent Aluminum Panel
50 x 46 x 3/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction with dense texture surface
Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard
YYLB(YellowYellowLightBlue)
2013
Acrylic Paint on Bent Aluminum Panel
52" x 46" x 3/8"
Geometric Abstraction.
Bright Yellows with Light Ultramarine Blue Center
Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard
BBCRD (BlueBlueCadRedDark)(SOLD)
2013
Acrylic Paints and Pastes on Bent Aluminum Panel
56 x 48 x 1/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction
Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard
VioletsRed (SOLD)
2013
Acrylic Paint on Bent Aluminum Panel
56 x 48 x 3/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction
Violet quadrants with bright red center square
Photo Credit: D.James Dee
OOUMBLS (SOLD)
2012
Acrylic Paints on bent aluminum panel
50 x 46 x 3/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction
Bright Oranges with Light Ultra Marine Blue Center
BlueBlueCRL (Bounce)
2012
Acrylic Polymers, Paints and Gouache on Canvas
60 inches x 48 inches x 1.5 inches
Geometric Abstraction with Densely Textured Surface
Deep blue quadrants with cad red medium center
Photo Credit: D.James Dee
"CBRRO"
2012
Acrylic paints on bent aluminum panel
60" x 48" x 1/8"
Geometric Abstraction.
Reds on top of intense blue background with orange center over lime green
"SOMEBODY" - REDPINKCB (SOLD)
2012
Acrylic Polymers, Paint and Gouache on Aluminum Panel
50 inches x 46 inches x 1/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction with densely textured surface
HBlues
2011
Acrylic Polymers and Paint on Wood Panel
80 inches x 72 inches x 1 inches
Geometric Abstraction
Cool Blue Quadrants with Green-Yellow Cool tone Center
The Mighty Quins (SOLD) Permanent Collection: New Britain Museum of American Art
2011
Acrylic Paints and Polymers on Wood Panel
80 inches x 72 inches x 1.5 inches
Geometric Abstraction
Permanent Collection New Britain Museum of American Art
"OOP" (SOLD)
2012
Acrylic Paints, Polymers and Gouache on Aluminum Panel
26 inches x 24 inches x 3/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction
Bright Orange Quadrants with Red Violet/Magenta Center
"TYHJ" (SOLD)
2011
Acrylic polymers and paint on bent aluminum panel
40 inches x 36 inches x 3/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction
(private collection)
LtGreenNRL
2010
Acrylic Paints on Aluminum Panel
50 inches x 46 inches x 3/4 inches
Geometric abstraction with dense texture surface
Bright Light Green Quadrants with Napthol Red Light Center
OrangeTealLavs (SOLD)
2010
Acrylic Paints on Aluminum Panel
34 inches x 30 inches x 3/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction with dense texture surface
GreenSquareWithReds
2010
Acrylic paints on aluminum panel
34 inches x 30 inches x 3/8inches
geometric abstraction with dense surface texture
RedSquareCoolBlues (SOLD)
2010
Acrylic polymers,paint and gouache on aluminum panel
26 inches x 24 inches x 1/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction
(private collection)
RedRedOrangeSquare
2010
Acrylic Polymers, Acrylic Paint and Acrylic Gouache on Aluminum Panel
50" x 46" x 1/8"
post minimalist geometric abstraction which utilizes objectified writing as texture surface
LightUBSquare
2010
Acrylic Polymers, Acrylic Paint and Acrylic Gouache on Aluminum Panel
40 inches x 36 inches x 1/8 inches
post minimalist geometric abstraction which utilizes objectified writing as texture surface
YellowYellowBlue
2008
Acrylic Polymers, Pigment and Paint on Panel
80 inches x 56 inches x 1.5 inches
Post Minimalist inspired abstract painting
BBCRedM
2009
Acrylic Polymers and Paint on Aluminum Panel
54" inches x 46 inches x 3/4 inches
Post minimalist inspired geometric abstract painting which uses objectified written communications as texture
YellowYellowNRedLight (SOLD)
2008
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on Metal Panel
52inches x 46 inches x 3/8 inches
Geometric Abstraction
KADAG (SOLD)
2007
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on cold rolled steel panel
50 inches x 46 inches x 0.0598 inches
Geometric abstraction, post minimalist color based painting, lush layered colors, narrative abstraction of objectified written text
(private collection)
YYCT
2009
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on Aluminum Panel
54 inches x 46 inches x 1/4 inches
Post minimalist inspired geometric abstract painting which uses objectified written communications as texture
VioletVioletAqua (SOLD)
2008
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on Metal Panel
32" x 28" x 3/8"
Post Minimalist Geometric Abstraction which objectifies written communications as texture surface
OrangeOrangeCobaltTeal
2008
Acrylic Polymers and Paint on Metal Panel
52" x 46" x 3/8"
Post minimalist geometric abstraction with objectified written communications as texture surface
VOxideCobaltBlue (SOLD)
2009
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment of Aluminum Panel
26" x 24" x 3/8"
Post minimalist inspired lushly colored painting with a raised texture surface comprised of objectified writing
GGMagenta (SOLD)
2009
Acrylic Polymers and Paint on Aluminum Panel
26" x 24" x 3/4"
Geometric Abstraction, Lush Greens with Magenta Center Square
LFGREENBLUEBLUE
2007
Acrylic Polymers and Pigments on cold rolled steel panel
40" x 36" x 0.0598"
Lushly colored geometric abstraction with densely textured surface
CobaltTealBounce
2008
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on Aluminum Panel
40" x 36" x 3/8"
Geometric abstraction
VBAquaSquare (SOLD)
2008
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on Aluminum Panel
40" x 36" x 3/8"
Geometric abstraction, post minimalist color based painting, lush layered colors, narrative abstraction of objectified written text
(private collection)
TerraBlueSquare (SOLD)
2008
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on Aluminum Panel
40" x 36" x 3/8"
Geometric abstraction, post minimalist color based painting, lush layered colors, narrative abstractions of objectified written text.
(private collection)
HOWLINTOSPRING
2007
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on cold rolled steel panel
30" x 28" x 0.0598"
Post minimalist, grid based, lushly colored geometric abstraction which utilizes objectified written communications as as texture
LF-BLUEORANGE
2007
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on aluminum panel
32" x 28" x 3/8"
Post minimalist, grid based, lushly colored geometric abstraction which utilizes objectified written communications as as texture
(Sideshow Gallery)
OrangeOrangeGreen (SOLD)
2007
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on aluminum panel
32" x 28" x 3/8"
Post minimalist, grid based, lushly colored geometric abstraction which utilizes objectified written communications as as texture
RRUMB
2014
Acrylic Polymers on Aluminum Panel
32 x 28 x 3/8 inches
Geometric abstraction, post minimalist color based painting, lush layered colors, narrative abstraction of objectified written text
OrangeSquare2 (SOLD)
2007
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on cold rolled steel panel
30" x 28" x 0.0598"
Geometric abstraction, post minimalist color based painting, lush layered colors, narrative abstraction of objectified written text
(private collection)
Harlequin3 (SOLD)
2007
Acrylic Polymers and Pigment on aluminum panel
32" x 28" x 3/8"
Post minimalist, grid based, lushly colored geometric abstraction which utilizes objectified written communications as as texture
(private collection)