The New York Times

Friday, November 23, 2001

Frank Wimberley
“Compositions for Matter”
June Kelly Gallery
591 Broadway, near Houston Street
Through Dec. 1

The lively, tactile surfaces of Mr. Wimberley’s canvases sometimes appear as overall fields of light-struck, subtly nuanced color, as in “Amber Plane.” Its fluid striations of golden tan are mottled with dark patches of erosion and other marks to create a materiality that is al-most otherworldly. Other paintings are more solidly anchored in the terrestrial. Land-Scape or seascape readings could easily be made of works like “Quay,” “Treacle” and “Dark-Haired Figure.” (The last bears no Trace of a figure, but a brushy segment of pale yellow sand is topped by a thickly stroked “sky” of glistening black.) There are hints that Mr. Wimberley admires Mark Rothko, particularly in the painting called “Black-ness,” in which a somber rectangle of black, edged at the bottom with a trace of mustard color, is poised atop a rough-surfaced white field. Despite the elegance and finesse of The work, it might be read, I suppose, as an ethnic statement.

 In any case, these paintings are good to behold: beautifully brushed and infused with a light that magnifies their intensity.