Beautiful Bedlam | Horace Williams House | Arts | Indy Week


Beautiful Bedlam

When: Sun., July 9, 2-4 p.m. and July 30 2017

Sometimes a critic will call a painter's work "unresolved," a vague adjective that means the work seems either unfinished or taken too far. But no one could say that about Raleigh painter Martha Thorn's work in Beautiful Bedlam, a solo show of brightly colored and chaotic abstract paintings. She's also a graphic designer, and that sensibility is at work in her knack for drawing many jarring shapes and colors into a single form. Whether you're looking at a fit of multidirectional drips that shatter the inside of a flag form or squinting through a spray-paint haze at a curlicued tentacle shape, you easily find a subject and can distinguish it clearly from its ground. Thorn also has some chops as a writer; her pithy titles tend to bring her works halfway back from abstraction toward something you might convince yourself you recognize. —Chris Vitiello

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