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ART REVIEW

Delighting in ‘Lines and Colors’ at Bernay Fine Art

Artists color in and out of the lines in a new exhibit at the Great Barrington gallery through July 10.

Lynda Schlosberg, "The Heart of the Matter," in “Lines and Colors" at Bernay Fine Art.Stewart Clements

GREAT BARRINGTON — Lines and colors are the essence of painting. Colors set the mood, and lines set the tension. “Lines and Colors” at Bernay Fine Art offers smart paintings and drawings that are also sumptuous and easy on the eye, like the Berkshires on a summer day.

Waltham-based Lynda Schlosberg’s paintings breathe and waft with layers of delicate gridded lines, like fine fishing nets in a gentle sea. In the gentle, electrically alive work “The Heart of the Matter,” a veil of transparent yellow oozes and opens over dark blue netting against a misty blue background. Her high-keyed, interleaving colors suggest energy fields pulsing outward, touching everything.

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Dana Piazza, a Lenox artist, is an intricate, almost neurotically repetitive freehand mark-maker, like Jacob El Hanani. He draws a pattern according to a set of rules, but the more he works, the more the form takes on a life of its own. “Squares 56” is a precise checkerboard in black, white, and shades of gray that tightens and expands into voluptuous curves. It’s part Op-Art, part cozy throw atop sleeping cats.

Dana Piazza, “Squares 56," acrylic on yupo.Dana Piazza

Bernay Fine Art leans into abstraction, but for this show the gallery has brought in the vaguely disturbing, often humorous storytelling of colorist Sabrina Marques. She works in powdery gouache, a texture that pulls you closer. “Nightwalkers” depicts googly-eyed people in black tree branches.

Sabrina Marques, "Nightwalkers," gouache on paper mounted on panel.Andrés Garcés

Marques, whose works explore the stories of her Cuban ancestors, drops us into the darkest part of a fairy tale: Her bewitched or undead characters stride off into the air or open their arms helplessly. Her colors are brilliantly spooky — the night sky a periwinkle blue, the people in hues of blue, all suggesting they’ve been moonstruck.

Such rich color is a kind of nourishment. Painter Jane Fine uses it, too; in “Late Bloomer,” a jaunty, cartoonish, abstracted tree explodes against a fuchsia ground. The foliage is part graffiti (including the artist’s ballooning signature), part patchwork quilt. It’s painterly, full of drips and dabbed gestures, blue and purple lines and great rectangles of yellow.

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Jane Fine, "Late Bloomer," acrylic on canvas.Robert Lowell

All these works — even the obsessive and eerie ones — feel somehow exultant. These artists don’t use their skills to unpack the damages of the world. They glory in paint, in ink, and in the life-affirming act of making art.

LINES AND COLORS

At Bernay Fine Art, 296 Main St., Great Barrington, through July 10. 413-645-3421, www.bernayfineart.com


Cate McQuaid can be reached at catemcquaid@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @cmcq.