The illustrious forty-plus year career of Francine Tint, established with works in over two dozen museum collections and a number of prestigious grants, continues to amaze. Her latest paintings currently on view at Cavalier Gallery, in New York City, are a whirlwind of subconscious thoughts and responses that quickly take shape in distinctive colors and tantalizing textures. They represent an intuitive and animated journey that emerges from the delicately watermarked and stained unprimed canvas to a weightier, more expressive vocabulary of distinct effortless lines, thick swathes of imposing color and darting detail, to create a wholly visceral sense of atmosphere and depth.
Tint’s compositions build organically, they form unhindered by preconception yet they maintain a level of communication that speaks a universal language based on acute perception and sweeping emotion. They bridge the Modern with the Contemporary while they place the transmission of the spirit, the essence of one’s being, as the ultimate priority.
Paintings such as Paris Red (2017), which reveals a delicate dance of awareness, is trance-like in its acute level of buoyancy. The crisscrossing patterns in Tiger (2016) brings a degree of defiant strength to the composition, while the wild dynamics of Electric Sunrise (2018), right, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60″, simultaneously pushes back and attracts the viewer. Tint’s ability to adjust an onlooker’s entrance into a work is a big part of its charm, however, that ability is less about being playful and more about being open and experimental. It’s almost as if the painting is alive and part of the decision making process.
Crucifixion (2017) at first reminded me of Francis Bacon’s Study After Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953) as it shares similar color and depth of emotion. Soon, it quickly became more about the turmoil of life itself, the darkest times and the most raw emotion stripped bare and openly challenged
Sea Garden (2017), left, acrylic on canvas, 75 x 54″, like Electric Sunrise has that same sort of jazzy, multi-directional, or in this instance, multi-planar passages of shapes and colors that break up and divide the composition like late Cezanne who in his paintings suggested or predicted Cubism. Only here, we are looking more at a division of consciousness that comes and goes rather than the interpretation of something seen in space and time.
In looking at Dubstep (2016), which was completely painted on the artist’s studio floor, seems to have a most direct connection the movements of the artist. You see more hand gesture, less texture, and therefore more reference to the act of painting than in any of the other works. This is important to note as we get a clearer picture of the artist’s comfort in gesture or the act of painting rather than any lucid indication of her subconscious or conscious thinking.
Right: Rebirth (2017), acrylic on canvas, 50 x 92″
Rebirth (2018) to me feels ancient, like a time when fire and water were two of the most important commodities on earth. Because of that, and the pinkish palette, I was reminded of Philip Guston’s Abstract Expressionist paintings. I sensed that same connection to Guston, only to his late period in Tint’s The Deep (2017) as it has that same sort of bold directness.
Left: Flight (2017), acrylic on canvas, 53 x 72″
Tint’s most peaceful work in this exhibition is Flight (2017). It has all the important elements of her methodology: the varied textures and finishes, the depth and atmosphere, the perception and the emotion, all infused with innate spontaneity – plus the addition of a distant horizon or subject, like what one might see in a J. M. W. Turner sans the vortex of turbulence.
It must be said that the art of Francine Tint has a force and a presence that is profound and timeless. She is a true Abstract Expressionist in every sense.
By D. Dominick Lombardi, Contributing Writer
The exhibition Explorations by Francine Tint at Cavalier Gallery, 3 W. 57th St., New York City, ends March 24th.
Left: Dubstep (2016), acrylic on canvas, 54″ sq.