Jeanne Garant

The Washington Post Sunday - - ARTS & STYLE -

Ex­e­cuted pri­mar­ily in black and gray, the paint­ings in Jeanne Garant’s “275 Stripes” are al­most aus­tere. Yet there are glim­mers of sen­su­ous­ness in the Touch­stone Gallery show, whether in the in­fre­quent bright colors — a gold bar, a red line — or the tex­tures within the muted, monochro­matic blocks. An­other low-key el­e­ment is the translu­cent wax that partly cov­ers some of the pic­tures, of­fer­ing both a smooth sheen and ragged drips.

Garant’s work shows the ap­par­ent in­flu­ence of Bar­nett New­man, who called his thin ver­ti­cal lines “zips” rather than stripes. Both artists take a geo­met­ric ap­proach yet some­times punc­tu­ate the ra­tio­nal forms with a free­hand band of color, as in “Recto/ Verso.” The Ar­ling­ton artist ven­tures fur­ther with “A Bit of Curry,” a study in wavy lines whose only hard edges are the bor­ders of the can­vas. Most ef­fec­tive, though, are the pic­tures that main­tain a ten­sion be­tween pre­ci­sion and in­tu­ition. Garant’s stripes can ei­ther hold a field to­gether or slash it apart.

Jeanne Garant: 275 Stripes: Oil & Cold Wax Paint­ings On view through May 28 at Touch­stone Gallery, 901 New York Ave. NW. 202-347-2787. touch­stone­gallery.com.

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