Sharon Bartel-Clements appeals to colorful abstraction so as to outwardly signify a selection of personal memories and associations that develop throughout the presentation of her artistic process. Inspired by modern tribalism "Tesuque Hills (Sunset)" initially appears to represent a low-level mountain range before saturating the entire canvas within shades of deep red. The style of Mark Rothko moreover resonates throughout the "Night Shade" series where a thick band of blue is juxtaposed to another multi-colored one. However art-for-art's sake does not underlie Clements work as much as the performative act of celebration.
The artist paints with her hands, rather than a brush, in an attempt to reflect the poetry of color upon surface: "I want the images to be beyond time, beyond words." Clements' figurative abstraction maintain the spontaneity seen in her other work while referencing thto the eloquent nature of movement within the human form. Additional pieces such as "Moment of Truth" and "Open Passage" manipulate different gradations of color to create the illusion of objects such as clouds and reference to metaphysical movement.
Abstract paintings grew into American artistic discourse as a visual metaphor for spontaneous independence. This style has further developed into a site where artists can engage in a metaphysical dialogue with an array of media and materials while capturing visual sensuousity. Although this collection of paintings by Clements are not overtly concerned with realistic representations, each one conveys the figuration of her inner, primitive feelings.
In the artist's own words these depictions serve as, "a portal leading to the discovery of the essential energies and experiences, which foster human growth and consciousness." Contrasts of blue and yellow as well as red and orange render a visual vibrancy that seduces the observant eye and steeps and senses with a feeling of serendipity, leaving the artist's painted gestures open to different interpretations. The paintings of Sharon Bartel-Clements gracefully transcend painted reality thereby establishing an intricate connection between color, concept and emotion.
Jill Conner, New York art critic whose articles have appeared in Contemporary, Sculpture, and New York Arts. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics.