Mythology at play

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Post from Meredith Weber

Barbara Spadaro’s new paintings at Muse Gallery are studies in myth and imagination.

Her canvases are blanketed in calming blues, greens, and off-whites. Small human figures reminiscent of those from early Sienese paintings occupy small portions of the canvas, and in some cases are surrounded by delicate birds or animals which are suspended above the flat fields of color. Each work appears weightless and inviting.

The wide expanses of open space that characterize these paintings leave the works open to interpretation. In some pieces, such as “The Shape of Light” (image, top), figures are outlined but not filled in with colors. There is no literal story here, just an understanding that mythology is at play.

Supplementing the paintings are several tiny prints which, like the paintings, reference the early Renaissance style. These prints are more compact and cluttered than the paintings, but they share the same fragile and intricate quality. Yet even in these miniature pieces, a playful understanding of myth and imagination is apparent. In an age where giant installations and an obsession with innovation dominate the art world, Spadaro’s small scale work is a welcome reference to the simple wonders of the past.

The show runs until Nov. 28.

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