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SINH is a French born artist now living in California, USA. She paints flowers and still life and publishes her work on her blog and website. SINH’s oeuvre displays a fascinating quality I now believe to be characteristic of painters who focus on only one or two themes: a consistent and notable change in style, from graphic to painterly in this case. We often read in art monographs how during decades of work an artist’s brushwork gradually grows more “loose and confident.” This is exactly what is happening here, only faster, because the theme’s minimalism allows for a rapid style evolution. To more fully experience the extent of this stylistic shift, I would suggest examining everything on SINH’s blog, following the chronological order. In today’s review I would like to talk about the artist’s latest florals.

Depiction of the texture of the flower’s petals in a painterly and somewhat free-flowing style powerfully evokes the sense of touch. These flowers were meant to be touched first, smelled second — paradoxically, these are the blind person’s versions, Braille flowers, if you will. It is not the brushwork and the actual laying of paint upon the board, but rather the illusion of the immediacy of tactile sensation passed by purely visual means that brings these flowers to life. The stress here is not on the literally sensuous but on the conceptual and abstract processing; it’s as if feelings of touch are being transferred directly into the viewer’s brain.

In more technical terms, a detailed description of how light and color interchange contributes to said illusion. The petals appear to flutter and crease like paper; nevertheless, the main subject of each painting is still the bloom, a unified whole that is more than the sum of its petals. The artist coats the flowers with a white veil of light, the former absorbing the latter in its entirety (nothing is reflected). Curiously, there are no large shadows around the flowers — a fact that discloses the wish to keep things as abstract as possible — but plenty of small dark patches and undefined areas that sculpt the leaves.

 

The impression of thinness accords with the reticent, low-key and somewhat pale palette. Everything is subdued here, reflecting the onset of withering and expressing a melancholic mood. One would assume that these flowers were painted for their delicacy and fragility; the artist finds appropriate backgrounds to complement these features. The choice of neutral backgrounds produces the effect of surprise, as if the blooms expanded from nowhere and filled the space. If so, this might have been the most energetic and important moment in “the lives” of these florals; the general parabolic movement denotes an opposite process, not devoid of its own quiet poetry.

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