Russell Tyler's recent paintings are a playful, method-based approach to abstraction, as opposed to his earlier series which captured an expressionist bravura or cool geometry. In these new works, Tyler uses mid-sized canvases that are deceivingly large in scale with outlined marks that act as drop shadows and compositions that stretch edge to edge. Alternating between a vertical and horizontal format these works flirt with references to weeds, trees, and ponds without veering into representational territory. Rather, they read as graphic, punchy abstractions painted with close value ranges, about 5 colors to each work, overlapping think washes with thick impastoed handling.
Some works, like "RMP" fashion themselves as dynamic, sensual contrasts. Here, two large, dark curvilinear forms are balanced by a light, salmon-colored one that cuts through the center of the canvas. Other works, like "RV", "FLP," and "YP", feel celebratory as multi-colored tendril-like marks splinter off from the center toward the edge of the canvas. The value contrasts combine with the compositional treatment to create an explosive effect reminiscent of fireworks against a night sky.