When the world is at odds, you can look at art that grapples with big issues or you can look at art that calms and rejuvenates. This week, I choose the latter.
Sand T’s show of mixed-media paintings at Lanoue Gallery refreshes like a storm sweeping out humidity and cooling the air. The abstract works impress with technical finesse and mastery of material.
The artist covers a wood or acrylic panel with a single color of paint; on top of that she layers graphite lines and coats of clear resin. With the panel laid flat, she finishes each piece with drops of resin — plop, plop, plop! — which cover the paintings with irregular rounds. They read like raindrops on glass. Resin can be a beast to work with, and Sand T controls it skillfully.
Paintings in high-pitched tones such as hot pink and turquoise grab the eye, but the subtler works in gray and metallic hues reverberate. “Honey Run Falls, OH,” “Shining Cloud Falls, MI,” and “Twin Falls, ID,” installed as a triptych, feature all of the above: sunset pink, silvery dusk, midnight.
The graphite lines, vertical in most paintings, come in different widths, some pin-point narrow, others fuzzing thickly. That variation opens space, with thicker lines suggesting depth. In the black paintings, especially “Vernal Falls #5,” the graphite takes on a glow, popping out at us rather than recessing.
A few meltingly soft works have no shiny resin coats. The graphite lines in “Mountain Meadow” vibrate like plucked harp strings, bouncing the eye from pale green down into straight, clean gullies of shadow.
It was the resin work that drew me into the gallery. My eyes are drawn to shine as my taste buds are to chocolate, and Sand T’s care with her sandwiched layers and her discrete drops rewards that kind of hunger. But I lingered more over the hush of those paintings that had no shine. They were just as soothing, but somehow more contemplative.
At Lanoue Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., through July 31. 617-262-4400, www.lanoue