Natasha Sweeten at Edward Thorp Gallery

New York Times
Published March 3, 2006

by Grace Glueck


Although they are abstract, Natasha Sweeten's fetchingly titled small oils on panel take cues from the real world, particularly from nature and architecture. What gives them their kick is her innate gift for using paint to evoke biomorphic and other forms in subtle, nuanced colors, overpainting, scraping and reworking until the forms play blithely off each other in quirky but coherent compositions.


A case in point is ''Suburban Kiss,'' two large, rounded, tomato-colored shapes (one smaller than the other) nestling together, their surfaces closely hugged by an irregular partial grid painted in alternate blue and yellow. In the cleft between the two, the grid sneaks out to connect with a set of snaky lines, painted a mix of green and purplish, that emerge from under the glaze of the tomato's body. The lines, set against a background of yellowy green touched with bits and daubs close in hue, eventually meld into a sort of broken blue netting.


The 15 paintings here demonstrate that color-based composition is Ms. Sweeten's forte, and she knows how to play it for all it's worth. A very promising New York debut.