ART IN REVIEW; Shirley Kaneda
Published: March 2, 2001

Feigen Contemporary

535 West 20th Street, Chelsea

Through tomorrow

Shirley Kaneda's hard-edged, neon-hued new paintings suggest among other things James Rosenquist's billboard imagery from the Pop era blasted into abstraction. They are composed of straight bars, bands of wavy concentric lines, tight geometrics, squishy or bony biomorphics and other fallout, immaculately brushed onto flat white or toned grounds.

Besides exploded fragments of products or packaging, these free-association abstract elements could be the hieroglyphs of a nonlinear language, what cyberspace might use if it could speak. Ms. Kaneda gives them lots of room to drift in, with silences -- or tensions -- of space between, while retaining graceful control.

The optical oppositions made by the medley of shapes and fragments is reflected in the titles of these inscrutable works: ''Hostile Affection,'' ''Stubborn Compliance,'' ''Graceful Abrasion,'' ''Flexible Resolve.'' In ''Symmetrical Discord I and II,'' a diptych, the components are more or less reversed as they go from a larger panel to a smaller one, with a few fragments cropped out. The resulting artfully asymmetrical composition is really quite lyrical.

On view in the front gallery are four works of Ms. Kaneda's selection by four contemporary American painters she sees as liberated from mainstream orthodoxies: Frank Stella, Jo Baer, Shirley Jaffe and Nicholas Krushenick. It's possible to see in their offbeat formats hard-edge abstraction and bright, sassy colors, a line of ancestry for Ms. Kaneda's work. But hers holds its own among them. GRACE GLUECK

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