These intricately patterned, vibrantly hued abstract paintings by New York-based painter Richmond Burton convey in equal measure the deep space of a light-saturated stained-glass window and the textured flatness of Berber tapestries. Consisting of repeated, diamond-shaped marks, each work is built upon layers of color that range from glinting platinum to hot pink, turquoise, lemon yellow and the luminous rest of the spectral range. A narrow, single-hued strip often anchors the lower edge of the composition, appearing like a windowpane over which Burton's faceted geometries bloom. Surfaces are alternately sanded down or imperfectly brushed in, lending a hand-wrought intimacy to the otherwise expansive pieces. Similarly, delicate preliminary pencil sketches plotting out an overall grid, occasionally seep through the painted layers. A series of smaller-scale studies for the larger works reveal a more impressionistic approach — the wet, triangulated forms dripping to the panel edges; swift marks taking on the shape of a private, wavering alphabet. These pieces, which recall the early Mural period of Jackson Pollock or midcareer Richard Pousette-Dart, suggest a fundamentally sensual premise for Burton's project, rather than an exclusively formalist one. Through March 2 at Philip Slein Gallery, 4735 McPherson Avenue; 314-361-2617 or www.philipsleingallery.com. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. and by appointment.
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