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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Geometric Abstraction Explored in 1Point618's Latest Exhibition of Works by Jennifer Omaitz and Susan Squires

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 9:31 AM

click to enlarge JENNIFER OMAITZ
  • Jennifer Omaitz
With less than two weeks left to view the current exhibitions at 1Point618 Gallery in Gordon Square, time is running out to see the dynamic and intriguing geometric abstractions of Jennifer Omaitz and Susan Squires. Omaitz’s Folding Gesture and Squires’ Geometric Suggestions remain on view through Friday, Dec. 4.

Omaitz’s current work continues her exploration into themes of both geometric abstraction and abstract expressionism – two genres that sound similar, yet are quite different. Combining the gestural qualities of abstract expressionism’s spontaneous and dramatic paint application with the illusory Op Art capabilities of geometric abstraction, Omaitz creates bold compositions that expand the boundaries of both genres.

“Folding Gesture explores change in spatial order that appear fractured or fragmented,” Omaitz explains. “These states can remain calm or reconfigure coherence in the painting. I am interested in the connection between a fold as it relates to architecture or design and gesture as it relates to drawing and 20th century painting. Overall, my work explores space, both physical and psychological space. This refers to ‘Space’ as it is applied to a two dimensional surface, or a three dimensional location.”

Omaitz earned her MFA in Painting from Kent State University after receiving a BFA in Painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. Additionally, she received training at the Lacoste School of the Arts in Lacoste, France. She is currently serving a year-long, full-time appointment as a Visiting Artist Instructor at the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art at the University of Akron.

In January 2016, she and fellow Cleveland-based artist Andy Curlowe present a special two-person exhibition at Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI (opening Jan. 11). Later in January, two of her new works will be included in Unreal: Abstract Art Today at Summit ArtSpace (Jan. 29 through Mar. 5)

In 1Point618’s lower level exhibition space, Susan Squires’ encaustic paintings complement Omaitz’s non-representational, abstract work with more symbolic imagery (including suggestions of geometry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, architecture and more). Encaustic painting employs an ancient process of infusing beeswax with pigment. The materials create a dreamlike, surreal quality.

Squires’ neutral color palette and seemingly simple compositions encourage a quiet, introspective viewing experience in a cozy, intimate location; allowing viewers time to explore the works’ surface details, emotive qualities, symbolism, as well as the psychological and spiritual implications. As a whole, the exhibition can be best described as a meditative experience.

Squires earned a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1983. Additionally, she studied at Miami University of Ohio, as well as art and art history in Italy through the University of Georgia and the University of Texas. In 2000, she was selected for The Dresden Exchange, a five-week printmaking residency in Dresden, Germany through a grant from the Ohio Arts Council and Zygote Press.

As the hectic holiday season takes its toll on all of us, stop into 1Point618 in the coming days for an opportunity to quietly refresh and meditatively reflect. Regular gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment through Dec. 4 at 216-281-1618.

(1Point618) 6421 Detroit Ave., 216-281-1618,

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