Two coinciding solo-artist shows, Jo-Ann Boback’s “Revealing the Obscure,” and Rose Leitner’s “Quiet Chaos,” are on diplay at Galatea Fine Art this September. Both feature abstract and colorful pieces, and each artist’s body of work complements the other’s perfectly in their oppositional ways of mark making.
Boback’s work is full of angular lines. When asked about the significance of the marks, she spoke about her background in design and how “horizontal and vertical lines give definition and also create a strong support of connected and disconnected shapes.” Her piece, “4Gats — Barcelona,” is a personal favorite; a peach-colored and sharp-cornered spiral, reminiscent of a seashell, is at the center of the piece, surrounded by mainly teal- and rust-colored markings on a white background. She described the influence of this piece to be a café in Barcelona where Picasso was known to frequent.
Boback cited music and memories being the influence of many of her emotion-driven works. “There can be the influence of the music playing, which evolves into a trance that is so productive that I replay that music until the painting is fully developed,” she said. “Chantilly Lace,” a piece with blocks of blue and lines of purple, yellow, green and every other color in between, “was developed through listening to a recording session of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, repeatedly.”
As a body of work, “Revealing the Obscure” is bound together by “the freedom to explore the spatial factor of the canvas, the layered gestures, use of color and subtle underlying images.” Boback said that the title of the show “lays forth the idea that if we had a mirror that we could look into and see everything that has influenced our psyche or emotional database, perhaps it would lend itself to revealing the obscure in our imaginations. Exposing the hidden or not so visible becomes an expression of that which makes me the artist that I am.”
Leitner’s work, in contrast to Boback’s, is ruled by circular, round mark making. She spoke about channeling artists like Cy Twombly or Georgia O’Keeffe. “I tend to be a more circular person than a square person — when I put a room together, I like to put things in an angle; I don’t like them to fit nice and neatly in, so I think there’s that kind of rebellious nature to the circle that’s coming through.”
She uses a homemade squeegee to assist in the layering, as well as the removal of layers, in her paintings. “I get different layers, and you know with oil sometimes you do it right away, sometimes you wait an hour to get a different effect, sometimes you need to wait a day or three days or a week,” Leitner said. “Each one gives you a different effect, and then I’m taking away from it after I lay it on.”